The Philippines has seen a dramatic increase in mosquito-borne diseases with more dengue and chikungunya cases being reported. 

The Department of Health’s (DOH) data showed that, as of Aug. 6, the number of dengue infections in the country has already reached 118,526. This is 153% higher compared to the cases reported in the same period last year. 

The health department also reported eight dengue fatalities July 31 to Aug. 6, pushing the nationwide tally to 399. The fatality rate is also higher than the 167 deaths reported last year. 

The National Capital Region (NCR) posted 1,007 dengue cases in the first week of August, pushing its total to 10,937. The regions with the most number of dengue cases are Central Luzon with 21,242 and Central Visayas with 11,363.

Cagayan Valley logged the highest increase with 8,132 dengue cases as of August 6.

Private Hospitals Association of the Philippines (PHAP) president Dr. Jose Rene de Grano advised the public to intensify efforts to locate and destroy mosquito breeding places.

Ibig sabihin ang breeding places ng mosquitoes ay nagpapatuloy. Ang pinakaimportante sa dengue, malinis ang paligid nang sa ganun po maalis ang pinamumugaran ng mga lamok na nagdadala ng dengue,” De Grano said in a public briefing.

Moreover, the country also reported 374 chikungunya infections as of Aug. 6

Chikungunya virus is transmitted by mosquitoes. Symptoms are fever, joint pain, headache, muscle pain and rashes. The US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said there is currently no vaccine to prevent or medicine to treat chikungunya virus infection. However, it added that death from chikungunya is rare.  Most patients feel better within a week.  However, patients can experience severe and disabling joint pain which may persist for months.

Ronald Espartinez