Dengue, rainy season may 'burden' Philippines during COVID-19 fight: health chief

ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 13 2020 04:05 PM

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The expected spike in dengue cases during the rainy season may stretch Philippine resources as it struggles to contain the coronavirus pandemic, the health department said Wednesday. 

The risk from dengue "is a permanent one" due to the country's climate, said Health Secretary Francisco Duque III. 

"The confluence of the rainy season and the expected rise in dengue cases will certainly pose a burden to the health system's capacity," he told reporters. 

Duque made the statement as the Philippines' first storm in 2020 threatened to bring rains over vast swaths of Luzon this week. 

Authorities, he said, were keeping tabs on the potential spike in dengue cases and other infectious diseases like polio and measles. 
 
The DOH has "no scientific data" supporting the hypothesis that the novel coronavirus and dengue virus can interact and create worse symptoms. 

However, Duque said dengue leads to respiratory complications while COVID-19 attacks the lungs

"Kung mayroong COVID threat, talagang magiging critical o malubhang-malubha ang kakalabasan ng kaniyang clinical course at kailangan po talagang tutukan ito," he said. 

(When there is COVID theat, a patient's clinical course will be very serious and needs to be monitored.)