The Philippine health department has declared a national mosquito-borne viral disease alert in the country, following an increase in the cases of dengue illness.
According to the department of health, the illness has killed 456 people nationwide in the past month, and a total of 106,630 cases of dengue fever has been recorded in the first half of the year.
Also, 39 percent of patients have died from the infection between January and June this year and the same time last year, making the cases recorded in 2019 alone higher than 2018 figures by 85 percent.
This prompted the department to declare a “national dengue alert,’’ calling on regional offices to increase surveillance of dengue cases and provide prevention and cure for the disease.
“This is the first time we are declaring a national alert because the objective is very clear,” the Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said.
“We want to raise awareness among the public and more importantly in communities where signs of early dengue increase are evident’’.
Duque informed the public that it is necessary to seek medical attention as soon as symptoms arise.
“Usually patients are brought to the hospitals rather late; when there is hemorrhage, internal bleeding, the heart is affected, the other organs are similarly affected, therefore, early detection is so crucial,’’ he said.
Dengue is a viral infection caused by four types of viruses (DENV-1, DENV-2, DENV-3, DENV-4) belonging to the Flaviviridae family. The virus is transmitted through the bite of infected mosquitoes that feed during the day time. Lack of sanitation and regular garbage collection spread mosquitoes.