MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) on Friday reported that it has observed a decrease in the incidence of dengue cases in the country this year.
In a statement, the DOH said the number of deaths due to dengue declined by as much as 78% from January 1 to August 15 this year.
The department noted that cases of water-borne infection diseases, influenza, leptospirosis, dengue (WILD) usually peak at the start of the rainy season in the months of July and October. But for the year 2020, there was an observed significant decrease in the number of cases compared to the same period in 2019.
According to Dr. Norielyn Evangelista, Program Manager of the National Aedes-born Viral Diseases Prevention and Control Program, around 430,282 dengue cases were recorded for the whole of 2019.
But for this year, it significantly declined to 59,675, Evangelista said.
Dengue mortalities have also dropped from 2019 with 1,612 deaths versus 231 in 2020, she added.
“After the dengue epidemic of 2019, we have been working vigorously to decrease dengue cases via a systemic approach that involves every level of the community,” Evangelista said.
The DOH official attributed the sharp decline in dengue cases to its strengthened initiatives, including surveillance, case management and diagnosis, outbreak response, and health promotion.
It also cited its cooperation with medical centers and local government units which aims to reduce WILD cases.
“Tulad ng laban kontra sa COVID-19, mas maiiwasan ang sakit kung tayo ay magtutulungan sa ating mga healthcare workers at LGUs para tuluyang masugpo ang threat ng dengue sa ating bansa,” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Singh-Vergeire said.
MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) said there are no clear expert studies yet on the supposed recorded case in Spain of dengue transmission through sexual intercourse.
Based on a report, a male tested positive of dengue after having sexual intercourse with his partner who has dengue.
The health department said it was an isolated case.
“E kasi ito naman hindi siya the usual, this is very atypical. So, the chances of its spreading via that route are very low,” Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said.
Sec. Duque said the DOH is rather concerned over unprotected sex which causes an increase in the number of HIV-AIDS cases in the country.
He added that the alleged transmission of dengue virus through sexual intercourse will remain theoretical or mere speculation.
He underscored that the Philippines has yet to record a similar case of dengue transmission.
The department, he said, is pushing for safe sex and clean living, especially this year when the country is recording an average of 35 individuals who are HIV positive daily.
“I will not be worried that there can be an epidemic of dengue via that route because there already is with mosquitoes. So, I would be worried for lack of protection primarily because we don’t want anymore HIV-AIDS cases as much as possible. So incidental lang iyong isa e to the main issue of unprotected sex. It’s a (very) collateral issue,” Duque said. (from the report of Aiko Miguel) /mbmf
The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) wants to look into research-based technologies to address the dengue problem in the country.
DOST Secretary Fortunato T. de la Peña said the department has funded several research projects and programs to aid in addressing the different aspects of the disease.
“Through the DOST-Philippine Council for Health Research and Development, we have funded a number of research projects and programs consistent with the multi-prong approach in the control of dengue that address different aspects such as diagnosis and treatment,” he said.
One of the researches supported by the DOST is the Biotek M which is a rapid diagnostic test for dengue. This kit can diagnose dengue as early as two to three days after the onset of illness.
They are also looking into a possible herbal medicine for dengue.
“Dengue research and development has always been one of the priority research areas in the country. This is stated in the Harmonized National Research and Development Agenda led by the DOST,” said Sec. de la Peña.—AAC
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