About 100,000 dengue cases were reported in the Philippines in the first six months of 2019, an increase of 85% over the same period last year.
Epidemics are reported in four regions of the country – Mimaropa, Western Visai, Central Visa and Northern Mindanao – which are home to more than 20 million people, or about 20% of the Philippine population. Health officials also monitor the situation in nine other regions, including Davao, the native province of the Philippines, President Roderigo Dutter, but said dengue remains a "localized" rather than a national epidemic, CNN Philippines reports.
Virus infection caused by mosquitoes causes flu-like symptoms including piercing headaches, muscle and joint pain, fever and rashes throughout the body. Of the millions of people dengue every year globally, about 500,000 people develop severe symptoms requiring hospitalization, and of those 12,500 people die, according to the World Health Organization. Although it is most common in tropical and subtropical climates such as the Philippines, India and Brazil, a recent study has found that rising global temperatures caused by the climate crisis can see mosquitoes carrying dengue – along with other diseases such as chikungunya, yellow fever and Zika – move north, affecting the southern states, domestic Australia and the coastal areas of China and Japan.
Dengue cases in the Philippines have historically grown every three to four years, and the sharp increase this year is in line with expectations after a nationwide jump in 2016, says a statement by the Secretary of State for Health of the Country Franceso Duque. This increase in dengue cases comes when the country is fighting a national outbreak of measles, which, according to authorities, has killed more people so far this year compared to all 2018 and jeopardizing 2.6 million children.
The most effective ways to prevent Dengue include searching for and destroying mosquito repopulation sites, liberating mosquito repellents, and seeking early consultation when the first signs and symptoms of the disease strike, the Philippine health officials said.