Mother Julita Alartino worries about her son 18-year-old son who has been diagnosed with dengue.
“Kinakabahan nga ako, hindi ako mapakali. Okay man siya tumigil na ang kaniyang lagnat kahapon kaso nagkaroon siya ng rashes at mababa ang kaniyang [platelets] pinapakain ko siya ng prutas, (I worry and I feel restless. His fever subsided since yesterday but he has rashes and his platelet count is low. I give him fruits to eat),” she said.
Julita did not come to work in order to care for his son.
From January 1 to 20, there had been 160 reported cases of dengue in Murcia. This is 344 percent higher compared to the 34 cases reported in the same period last 2018.
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
MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang said it is open to considering the return of the controversial Dengvaxia vaccine to address the rising number of dengue cases in the country.
“We’re always open to anything that will benefit the Filipino people. We’re not closed to any suggestion,” Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said.
Panelo made the statement in response to former Health Secretary now Iloilo 1st District Rep. Janette Garin’s claim that the recent dengue outbreak could have been prevented if the Dengvaxia vaccination hadn’t been discontinued.
Panelo clarified, however, that though Malacañang is open to the idea, there has to be a thorough and extensive discussion with experts to support any call for the return of Dengvaxia.
“Ang mga experts, hindi nagkakasundo diyan. May nagsasabing pwede, may nagsasabing hindi pwede, (Experts cannot agree. Some say [Dengavxia] is good, others say it’s not),” Panelo said.
“So we need to thoroughly investigate exactly the situation involving the Dengvaxia,” he added.
In November 2017, the government stopped the implementation of Dengvaxia vaccine after its manufacturer, Sanofi Pasteur, warned that it might cause severe symptoms if given to individuals who have no prior dengue infection.
It led to the so-called ‘Dengvaxia scare’ where a number of children died after allegedly receiving Dengvaxia shots. The cases however, remain under investigation.
“If the weight of findings show that there is benefit using Dengvaxia against dengue, then certainly the government should consider it,” Panelo concluded.
Based on the latest record of the Department of Health (DOH), dengue cases in the country have already spiked to 130,463 from January 1 to July 13 this year, double in number as compared to the same period last year which is only 67,690 cases.
The number of deaths this year is at 561, almost double from last year with only 367 deaths.
The national dengue alert remains in effect as more areas declare dengue epidemic including Western Visayas, CALABARZON, SOCKSARGEN, Northern Mindanao, Central Visayas and the National Capital Region (NCR).
According to Health Undersecretary Eric Domingo, dengue this year is considered a global health issue because of the observed cycle of dengue virus infection which spikes every three years.
“2019 worldwide is really shaping up to be with one those highly burdened years for dengue,” Domingo confirmed.
The DOH is set to convene its regional offices to ensure that concerns regarding dengue are properly addressed and under control.
The Department, as always, reminds the public to maintain cleanliness of surroundings and keep protected especially the children from dengue carrying-mosquitoes. – Aiko Miguel contributed to this report
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