Philippine health authorities on Monday raised an alert for dengue in the country following an increase in the number of illness. In the first half of the year, the illness has killed 456 people nationwide. The number of patients who died from dengue between January and June this year was up 39 per cent from 278 in the same period in 2018. This was said according to data from the Department of Health.
The department has also recorded a total of 106,630 cases of dengue infection nationwide in the first six months of the year. However, the dengue cases in 2019 were 85 per cent higher than the 57,564 cases in the same period in 2018. Due to the increase, the department declared a “national dengue alert,’’ directing regional offices to step up surveillance of dengue cases and heightened implementation of strategies to combat the disease.
Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said “this is the first time we are declaring a national alert because the objective is very clear. “We want to raise awareness among the public and more importantly in communities where signs of early dengue increase are evident’’. Duque stressed the need for the public to also seek medical attention as soon as symptoms manifest, such as fever for more than two days, severe joint and muscle pain, fatigue, nausea, skin rashes and bleeding. “Usually patients are brought to the hospitals rather late, when there is haemorrhage, internal bleeding, the heart is affected, the other organs are similarly affected, therefore, early detection is so crucial,’’ he said.