Dengue death toll now 465, but DOH says it’s under control

There have been 465 recorded dengue-related deaths so far this year, up from 350 last year, but the Department of Health (DOH) said they are "on top" of the dengue problem, reports Manila Times and Inquirer.net. Health Secretary Enrique Ona said over 60,000 cases were reported from January to August 21, 88 percent higher compared to the same duration last year. Despite this, Ona said, "We would like to reassure you that, yes, we are at the peak or going down the peak of the incidence of dengue. We are on top of it. The administration and the DOH are fully aware of what’s going on, and we will extend all the help needed."

24 Oras video: Over 62,000 dengue cases recorded so far

Inquirer.net also quoted Ona as saying that the dengue problem is "manageable in the sense that we are able to identify all the areas where it is rampant." Outbreaks were detected in Roxas City, Capiz, Iloilo City and Zamboanga City, according to Manila Times. The report also said that most of the dengue cases came from Western Visayas, Calabarzon, Central Mindanao, Eastern Visayas, National Capital Region, Southern Mindanao and Northern Mindanao.

Ona said in the Manila Times report that the number of dengue cases in the country increased this year because of the El Niño phenomenon and the presence of four strains of dengue virus. Last year, only one strain was monitored, DOH Head Executive Assistant Yolanda Oliveros told Inquirer.net.

To stop the spread of dengue, Ona said in the Manila Times report that the Health department has launched an information drive and directed the activation of dengue express lanes. Inquirer.net reported the "4S" strategy against dengue: "Searching for and destroying breeding grounds of mosquitoes; self-protection by using mosquito nets, wearing protective clothes or using mosquito repellents; seeking early medical treatment when signs and symptoms appear; and saying ’no’ to indiscriminate fogging."

For more on this story, log on to Manila Times and Inquirer.net.

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