A Growing Threat in the Philippines
Dengue outbreaks occur in countries throughout the world on an all too frequent basis. One of the latest countries to experience an outbreak of the disease is the Philippines.
Earlier this month, news reports began to surface about the rising incidence of dengue in the country. The Philippine Star reported May 10 that nine people had died from dengue and more than 700 cases of the disease had been recorded in Zamboanga City.
The city’s mayor declared a dengue outbreak and cancelled all vacation leaves of city health personnel. He also alerted the hospitals to “establish fast lanes for dengue cases,” according to the Star.
The mayor and the city health officer said that the number of dengue cases recorded in the city from January to May is up by 50 percent compared to the same period last year.
Officials in the Philippines are urging citizens to keep their surroundings clean and free from stagnant water, a breeding source of mosquitoes that carry the virus. Officials also warned that dengue spreads in the rainy season and the hot summer months in order to encourage people to remain vigilant about the cleanliness of their environment.
Additionally, there have been efforts to get the word out about the dengue outbreak to as many people as possible. Zamboanga City’s health office spearheaded a noise barrage and motorcade in the city’s thoroughfares and national highways against dengue, according to Tempo. Following the public announcements, there was a citywide clean up drive.
One of the most recent news stories out of the Philippines reports that the dengue death toll has risen to 10 people (mostly children) and the number of cases is now over 830. As a result, Zamboanga City’s health office has been ordered to conduct fumigation in private and public schools before classes begin in June.
To stay updated on the latest dengue news from around the world, follow the Dengue Vaccine Initiative on Twitter @preventdengue.