MANILA, Philippines – The DOH has announced a national dengue epidemic after a full meeting with the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Board (NDRRMC) at Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City.
This decision was taken after 146,022 dengue monitoring cases from January to July 20, up 98 percent from the same period last year.
Health Secretary Francisco Duke III also reported that dengue monitoring has recorded 622 dengue-related deaths.
Duque said that based on the DOH dengue monitoring report, Western Visayas has the highest number of cases at 23 330; followed by Calabarzon (Cavite-Laguna-Batangas-Rizal-Quezon) with 16,515; Zamboanga Peninsula with 12,337; North Mindanao with 11,455 and Soxargen with 11,083 cases.
"It is important that a national epidemic be announced in these areas to determine where a localized response is needed and to enable local government units (LGUs) to use their rapid response fund to deal with the epidemic," Duke said .
For his part, the Minister of Defense, Dolphin Lorenzana, as chairman of the NDRRMC, issued a memorandum to all disaster response units across the country for strict implementation of the national declaration of the dengue epidemic.
Meanwhile, seven of the 17 dengue-affected regions have exceeded the epidemic threshold in the last three consecutive weeks, according to Duke. These are Calabarzon with 16 515 cases; Mimaropa (Mindoro-Marinduk-Romblon-Palawan) with 4,244; Bicol with 3,470; Western Visayas with 23 330; Eastern Visayas with 7,199; Zamboanga Peninsula with 12 337 and North Mindanao with 11 455.
Other regions that exceed the alert threshold are Ilocos with 4 396 cases; Central Visayas with 10 728 and Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) with 2 301 cases.
"The total number of cases nationwide for the 20th week of morbidity (July 14-20) is 10,501. This is 71 percent higher than the figure for the same period in 2018, which is 6,128. case, "Duke said.
He added that, following the national declaration of the dengue epidemic, DOH, together with other government agencies, LGUs, schools, offices and communities, will conduct the Sabayang 4-O'Clock activity, which aims to destroy the dengue breeding sites.
New cases of dengue, deaths
According to the NDRRMC, from January 1 to August 3, the total number of cases nationwide reached 106,244, while dengue-related deaths reached 441.
About 10,636 new dengue-related cases and 39 deaths have been reported in Central Luzon, according to the NDRRMC.
Nueva Essiah recorded 1857 cases and 10 dengue-related deaths; Tarlac, 2,575 cases and nine deaths; Aurora, 1,063 cases and six deaths; Bulacan, 2,419 cases and six deaths; Bataan, 811 cases and one death and Zambales, four deaths and 507 cases.
Seen as the fastest-spreading mosquito-borne disease in the country, dengue has also affected 71,010 people with 18 deaths reported in Karaga.
NDRRMC records 778 new cases of dengue and four deaths in Agusan del Norte; 1525 cases and seven deaths in Agusan del Sur; 300 cases in the city of Bayugan; 183 cases in the town of Bisslig; 1,329 cases and four deaths in the city of Butuan; 246 cases in Kabadbaran; 234 cases on Dinagat Island; 570 cases in the city of Surigao; 565 cases and one death in Surigao del Norte; 1,093 cases and one death in Surigao del Sur and 186 cases and one death in Tandag City.
NDRRMC Executive Director and Civil Defense Administrator Ricardo Jalad said the number of deaths increased by 57, while the number of cases increased by 17,646.
Exceeding natl threshold
Meanwhile, Northern Mindanao has registered a record high number of dengue cases across the region in the last five years, DOH 10 announced yesterday.
Northern Mindanao is now considered one of the regions with the highest reported number of dengue cases, which include Mimaropa, Western Visayas and Central Visayas, according to Duke.
Dengue cases in northern Mindanao have exceeded the epidemic threshold, which means there have been too many cases in the last five years, DOH-10 said.
At a press conference yesterday, Regional Health Director Adriano Suba said they registered 15,095 cases of dengue from January to August 3.
"This is 62.54 percent higher than the same period last year, with 60 deaths reported," Suba said.
Buckidon Province shows the highest number of cases with 6,406 or 42 percent, with the majority being men (53 percent) between the ages of one and 10 as the general age group.
DOH-10 noted that a total of 1,557 dengue cases with eight deaths were recorded in Cagayan de Oro, the capital of the region.
Among the 80 barangas in the city of Carmen, there are the highest number of people infected with dengue in 196, with two deaths. There were 32 reported cases in the Carmen Makhanhan neighborhood.
"All DOH offices, departments, hospitals and adjoining agencies have (have) intensified the monitoring of dengue cases and provided immediate management and assistance to those affected," Suba said.
He added that DOH and its staff are aiming to engage in a large-scale information campaign across the country, to advise and encourage the general public to follow the 4S strategy – to seek and destroy mosquito breeding sites; self-protection measures such as the daily use of insect repellent and light-colored clothing, long sleeves and long pants; seek early consultation at your nearest health care facility after signs and symptoms show up; and maintain blurring, spreading and blurring only in hotspot areas where an increase in cases has been recorded for two consecutive weeks to prevent an outbreak.
"As a lead agency, DOH convenes the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council Health Cluster to enhance case detection, tracking and monitoring, provide issues and warnings, provide mobilization and increase the necessary logistics and provide laboratory answer, – said Suba.
DOH-Caraga Regional Director Jose Llacuna Jr. also directed enhanced action to stem the rise in dengue in the region.
Llacuna reminded the Caraganons not to release efforts or vigilance in combating the mosquito-borne disease in several areas of the region.
Keep your hands on Dengwax
A group of patients yesterday asked non-experts to hold their hands as to whether or not the ban on Dengwax should be lifted, saying that only scientists and medical professionals should speak about it so that the public can make an 'informed choice'.
At the Forum, the President of the Philippine Patient Organizations Alliance, Ma. Fatima Lorenzo noted that the issue was confused because of non-experts joining the debate.
Lorenzo added that those who have no experience in medicine and immunization should leave the discussion.
"We have scientists and experts. Unfortunately, non-scientists and non-experts are the ones who give their opinions. It saddens us, ”she said.
According to Lorenzo, many patients fear vaccines due to non-experts who are even "noisier" in broadcasting their opinions.
Asked if he meant the head of state prosecutor's office, Persida Acosta, Lorenzo declined to confirm.
"We just want relevant information from experts so that we can make an informed decision and access to medicines. Yes, including Denguaxia, "Lorenzo said. “With Gary Lee Goryth, Ben Serrano, Sheila Christomoto