LGU delcares dengue outbreak in Murcia, Negros Occidental

Aileen Cerrudo   •   August 2, 2019   •   928

The local government of Negros Occidental has declared a degue outbreak in Murcia due to over 300 percent increase in cases of dengue in the area.

READ: Dengue cases spike to over 100K – DOH

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.

READ: Malacañang open to considering return of Dengvaxia amid spike in dengue cases

“I decided to declare [dengue outbreak]. Kaya nag-purchase ko ng fogging machine (So I purchased a fogging machine) —emergency purchase for that alone,” according Murcia Mayor Gerry Rojas.

Meanwhile, the local government continues to conduct its information campaign on how to prevent dengue.—AAC (with reports from Lalaine Moreno)

Negros Occidental to supply pork meat in ASF-infected provinces

Marje Pelayo   •   September 24, 2019

NEGROS OCCIDENTAL, Philippines – The Provincial Veterinary Office of Negros Occidental assures the public that the province remains free from African Swine Fever (ASF).

According to Provincial Veterinarian Dr. Renante Decena, they are strict when it comes to implementing biosecurity procedures and animal practices within the province.

Likewise, paraveterinary workers are constantly assisting the veterinarians in conducting regular rounds to pig facilities across Negros Occidental .

Currently, the province has about 4,000 pigs in surplus above its monthly consumption and it is planning to send these to ASF-infected provinces like Aklan and Cebu.

“We persuaded them [Aklan and Cebu] to amend their EO [because they have seen the] biosecurity [of the] province,” Decena said.

Earlier, the provinces of Aklan and Cebu issued executive orders banning the entry of pigs and other pork products from Luzon.

Decena said they may now supply pork meat to these areas after they were given go signal.

“We were given the chance to enter the market,” he concluded. – MNP (with reports from Lalaine Moreno)

DOST eyes research-based techs to address dengue problem

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 5, 2019

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

Malacañang open to considering return of Dengvaxia amid spike in dengue cases

Marje Pelayo   •   August 1, 2019

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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