DOH: Dengue death cases reach 661

Aileen Cerrudo   •   August 12, 2019   •   1313

Patients with dengue receive medical treatment at a hospital in Island Garden City of Samal, Davao del Norte, Philippines, 16 July 2019. (Photoville International)

Dengue death cases in the country have already reach 661, according to the latest record of the Department of Health (DOH) from January to July 27, 2019.

The overall dengue cases peaked at 167,000 which is double compared with the recorded cases in the previous year.

There are already 10 regions in the country that are on the Dengue epidemic threshold, including CALABARZON, MIMAROPA, Central Visayas and BARMM.

Meanwhile, Ilocos and the National Capital Region (NCR) are on the alert threshold.

According to DOH Spokesman Usec. Eric Domingo, it won’t be until December before a decline in dengue cases could be seen.

“We are expecting the cases na talagang peak natin August, September, October hanggang November. Minsan ang mag- start pa lang decrease ng December (We are expecting the cases to peak in August, September, October until November. The decrease might begin in December),” he said.—AAC (with reports from Aiko Miguel)

DOH: No recorded case of dengue transmission through sexual intercourse in Phl

Maris Federez   •   November 11, 2019

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

DOH wants tax on salty food products

Robie de Guzman   •   October 30, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) is eyeing to propose imposing additional taxes on salty food products in a bid to lower the high incidence of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in the country.

High consumption of salt is one of the causes of non-communicable diseases, such as diabetes, stroke and chronic respiratory illnesses. Excessive salt intake is also related to hypertension, kidney diseases and cardiovascular problems, according to the DOH.

DOH spokesperson and Undersecretary Eric Domingo noted that the recommended salt intake per day for adult Filipinos is just under a teaspoon or around two grams.

The World Health Organization (WHO) earlier said that the recommended salt intake per day should be less than five grams.

“Ang cause ng hypertension sa atin, maliban sa paninigarilyo, ay pagkain ng maalat. Dapat po isang tao, 2 grams lang per day, tayo po ang konsyumo natin 11-15 grams per day, so tayo ay 4-5 times sa mga Filipino,” Domingo said in a press briefing in Malacañang on Wednesday.

High sodium intake raises blood pressure that leads to stroke and heart diseases, the two biggest causes of death and disability worldwide, according to the WHO.

In the Philippines, the DOH reported that more than 170,000 individuals die each year from heart diseases, specifically hypertension.

To curb the high incidence of these diseases and to help encourage people to eat healthy foods, the DOH is pushing for the imposition of additional taxes on products with too much salt.

Domingo cited the experience of several countries that imposed tax on unhealthy food which forced companies to adjust their product formulation.

“And it has been found in many countries that when you tax products that are unhealthy, talagang nagde-decrease kasi ang intake and the companies reformulate yung kanilang product,” he said.

The government has implemented tax on sugary drinks as well as on tobacco products under the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

DOH pushes for total ban on e-cigarettes

Robie de Guzman   •   October 30, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) on Wednesday called for a total ban on electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes), stressing that it has no proven positive effect on the user’s health.

According to Health Undersecretary Eric Domingo, the use of e-cigarettes or vaping is not a proven replacement therapy for nicotine addiction.

“If the DOH had its way, we would go for an outright ban,” Domingo told reporters in a press briefing in Malacañang.

He also noted that a proposal is now being crafted in an aim to ban e-cigarettes and other similar devices.

“And I think there is possible legal legislation that will be proposed sa Senate and the House, and we will support it,” he said.

Domingo said there are more than one million Filipinos, mostly youth, using e-cigarettes in the country.

The health official said they are now monitoring case reports of injuries and illnesses documented arising from the use of these devices amid a rising number of such cases in other countries.

The Philippine Food and Drug Administration earlier advised hospitals under the DOH to report any vaping-related cases in line with the emerging report of such cases from Europe and North America as reported by the U.S. Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention (USCDC).

The USCDC in August issued an advisory, cautioning the public against the purchase and use of vaping ingredients from the street and to stop modifying either nicotine or cannabis e-cigarette in an effort to curb the reportedly rising cases of vaping-related sicknesses in 25 U.S. states.

“Based on reports from several states, patients have experienced respiratory symptoms (cough, shortness of breath, or chest pain), and some have also experienced gastrointestinal symptoms (nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea) or non-specific constitutional symptoms (fatigue, fever, or weight loss). Symptoms typically develop over a period of days but sometimes can manifest over several weeks,” the advisory read.

The USCDC has recommended some steps for clinicians, including the reporting of cases of severe pulmonary disease of unclear etiology and history of e-cigarette use within the past 90 days, to help determine the cause of these sicknesses.

READ: WHO: Tobacco kills 8 million each year, e-cigarettes not a proven alternative

The World Health Organization (WHO) earlier said the use of e-cigarettes should be regulated as there is no evidence proving they were a safer alternative to cigarettes, warning that it normalizes smoking and hooks young people. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

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