#WalangPasok?: Health chief mulls class suspensions over dengue spike

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 29 2019 10:58 AM

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Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said Monday that he and the education department were considering a lawmaker's proposal to suspend classes in areas with outbreaks of dengue.

"As much as possible, we don't want disruptions of classes, but if it is necessary, we will support the good congressperson's suggestion. But you don't know where the risk is. Is it in the school or in the house?" Duque told ANC's "Headstart."

The health agency recorded 115,986 dengue cases nationwide from Jan. 1 to July 6, about an 85 percent increase from the 57,564 reported during the same period last year, he said.

The mosquito borne disease sees a spike in Southeast Asian countries every 3 years, and there is "no clear causality" between this trend and possible factors like climate change, rapid urbanization and congestion, said Duque.

Duque said he has also ordered regional heads to study if the recent rise in dengue cases can be attributed to the stop in distribution of vaccine Dengvaxia. The government banned the drug in 2017 after its maker Sanofi claimed that it may cause more severe symptoms if given to those who have not had dengue.

Dr. Chito Avelino, officer-in-charge of DOH's epidemiology bureau, earlier said the dengue virus serotype 3 (DENV-3) is the dominant strain of the mosquito-borne disease affecting the country for the last 3 years.

DENV-3 and dengue virus serotype 4 (DENV-4) carry the usual symptoms, such as high fever, headache, muscle pains, loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea and rash.

The rainy weather, overcrowding, and mobility are among the reasons attributed to the increase on dengue cases, Avelino said.

ANC, July 29, 2019