August 14, 2019
THE Philippines has the highest death rate from dengue among countries in Southeast Asia, the Department of Health (DoH) said on Tuesday as it warned that the number of victims of the mosquito-borne disease had grown exponentially in the past few weeks.
Health Secretary Francisco Duque 3rd said dengue cases increased 300 percent in Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore and Lao People’s Democratic Republic. Cases in the Philippines and Malaysia grew by 100 percent.
But the case fatality rate (CFR) or deaths was highest in the Philippines, which reported 720 deaths as of August 8.
“The difference is in the CFR. The Philippines continues to have the highest CFR among the five Asean (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) countries,” Duque said in a news briefing.
From Jan. 1 to July 27, 2019, the DoH reported 85,011 dengue cases, double that in the same period last year.
But from July 21 to July 27, 12,880 cases were reported with 0.3 fatality rate.
Majority of these cases were of the Dengue 3 strain, which according to Duque had lower CFR than the other strains.
Based on the latest data of the Health department, 167,607 dengue cases had been reported.
Western Visayas or Region 6 had the most number of cases with 27,765. It was followed by Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon) with 19,732, Mimaropa (Mindoro,Marinduque, Romblon, and Palawan), 4,623 cases; Region 5, 4,006; Region 7, 11,217; Region 8, 9,438; Region 9, 13,579; Region 10, 14,349; and Region 12, 12,506.
All these regions, along with the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, exceeded the epidemic threshold for dengue.
Meanwhile, the National Capital Region and Region 1 exceeded the alert threshold, which means that dengue cases this year in these areas are higher than the average number of cases listed in the past five years.
Although cumulative cases for NCR went down from 10,159 with 57 deaths to 10,103 cases with 43 deaths, Duque said there had been a weekly increase of dengue cases with the approach of the so-called peak months, which are October and November.
“You’re looking at 5,000 plus cases a week additional,” Duque told reporters.
The government declared a national dengue epidemic on August 6 because of the soaring number of cases.
The Health secretary said early detection was the key to managing dengue and preventing complications.
To prevent the spread of dengue, the DoH had urged local government units and communities to pursue the 4S strategy — search and destroy mosquito breeding places; (adopt) self-protection measures like wearing long sleeves and use of insect repellent; seek early consultation on the first signs and symptoms of the disease; and say yes to fogging if there is an impending outbreak.
Duque, however, said another S might be added — sustain hydration.
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