Dengue fever: a growing problem in Philippines
Dengue is a viral disease and it is transmitted through the bite of an Aedes aegypti mosquito which is a day-biting mosquito. This mosquito lives very close to people in built-up areas and thrives in stagnant water.
The disease has spread as a result of rapid urbanisation, especially where a lack of clean water and sanitation are problems. Some experts think that climate change is also contributing to the rapid spread of dengue fever. Small pools of water are common, especially after it has rained, which have enabled the mosquito to reproduce quickly and in great numbers.
Dengue fever in Philippines
After recording a whopping more than 200,000 dengue fever cases in 2013, the Philippines Department of Health (DOH) reported a dramatic decrease in cases of the mosquito borne virus in 2014. Based on DOH surveillance reports, the Philippines saw 113,485 cases, a decrease of some 45 percent.
From 1 January to 30 May 2015, there were 28,600 cases of dengue, including 86 deaths, reported on the archipelago. This is 6.33% higher compared with the same reporting period in 2014 (26,897).
Dengue fever cases have been reported in Ilocos, Cagayan Valley, Metro Manila, Calabarzon, Albay, Western Visayas, Northern Mindanao, Davao and Caraga. Especially, two provinces (Palawan and Tawi-Tawi) report more than 1,000 cases a year and only four have more than 100 cases but less than 500 cases a year (Sulu, Maguindanao, Mindoro Occidental, and Zambales).
Epidemics of dengue fever and dengue haemorrhagic fever occur every 3–4 years in the Philippines, and together with other febrile illnesses in children they impose a considerable burden on the national healthcare system.
With the onset of the rainy season, Philippine health officials are reminding the public anew on Dengue awareness and advising people to do regular clean-up drive for possible mosquito breeding sites.