MANILA, Philippines - The Department of Health warned Tuesday that 11 million Filipinos are in danger of contracting malaria.
Assistant Secretary Eric Tayag said 56 provinces in the country are still not malaria-free. Palawan, Tawi-Tawi and Zambales registered the highest number of malaria cases, he said.
He said the illness, which can be contracted via mosquito bite, has the same symptoms as dengue including fever, shivering, diarrhea and even rashes that resemble measles. If left untreated, the disease could develop complications that could lead to death.
"Traydor ang sakit na malaria na pinagkakamalang iba-ibang sakit. Delikado ito kapag nagkaroon ng kumplikasyon sa utak at bato na maaaring ikamatay," he told ABS-CBN News.
The DOH has recorded a total of 428 malaria cases from January to April 2, including 6 deaths.
Tayag said malaria-carrying mosquitoes thrive in stagnant or slow-moving water sources. He advised the public to use insecticide-treated mosquito nets, wear long-sleeved shirts, use mosquito repellant or take oxycycline capsules when going to places with high rates of malaria.