MANILA - Almost 116,000 dengue cases have been recorded in the country since the start of 2019, according to latest data from the Department of Health (DOH).
DOH data showed 491 out of the 115,986 cases recorded have resulted in the death of the patients.
The health department reported that Central Luzon, Northern Mindanao, Soccksargen, and BARMM have surpassed the dengue alert threshold while Calabarzon, Bicol Region, Western Visayas, Eastern Visayas, and the Zamboanga Peninsula have exceeded the epidemic threshold.
In just 7 months, the cases recorded in these regions have surpassed the cases recorded over the last five years.
The province of Iloilo in Western Visayas has recorded the most number of cases and has already declared a state of calamity.
DOH spokesman Undersecretary Eric Domingo said around P9 million worth of medicines and equipment to address the dengue problem have been sent to Iloilo.
"Nag-mobilize na tayo at nagpadala na tayo by plane ng mga gamit from the DOH mga P9.6 million worth of mga gamot, mga pampatay ng lamok at saka lahat ng mga gagamitin natin para kontrahin natin tong dengue," Domingo said.
(We have sent, by plane, P9.6 million worth of medicines, mosquito killers, and equipment from DOH to counter this dengue virus.)
"And at the same time yung mga malapit na regions, yung mga kalatig regions sa kaniya, yung mga testing kits nila na hindi naman masyado nagagamit dahil mas konti ang cases nila, dinadala na rin natin sa Iloilo para magamit," he added.
(At the same time, testing kits from nearby regions that are seldom used, because they have fewer cases of dengue, will be sent to Iloilo.)
The number of cases in Metro Manila slightly decreased compared to the same period in 2018 but the DOH said the public should not be complacent.
DOH reminded the public to take warnings seriously, especially since no dengue vaccine has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration.
To counter the dengue threat, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority personnel have conducted clearing operations, like fogging, in areas that are breeding sites for mosquitoes.
The health department highlighted the proper way of fogging to make it more effective in eradicating dengue-carrying mosquitoes.
"Ang pag-fog po ay hindi sa kalye at hindi sa labas ng bahay. Ginagawa ito sa loob ng bahay at dapat talagang pinupunterya yung mga madidilim at nakakulob na lugar," said Dr. Ferchito Avelino, director of DOH-Epidemiology Bureau.
(Fogging should not be done in the street or outside the house. It should be done inside the house and should be focused on dark and hidden places.)
The DOH declared a national dengue alert earlier this month after observing a spike in dengue cases nationwide.
- Reports from Raphael Bosano, ABS-CBN News