National dengue alert declared | Malaya Business Insight

Naval, G. (2019, July 16). National dengue alert declared. Malaya Business Insight. Retrieved July 16, 2019 from

National dengue alert declared
By GERARD NAVAL – July 16, 2019

HEALTH Secretary Francisco Duque III yesterday placed the entire country on national dengue alert, the first time ever, after several regions exceeded their epidemic thresholds.

In a press conference, Duque likewise announced the Department of Health (DOH) was raising the Code Blue alert for the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (NDRRMC) Health Cluster.

“This is the first time we’re declaring a national alert because the objective is very clear: we want to raise awareness among the public. And more importantly, in communities where signs of early dengue increases are evident,” Duque said.

“This is something that we think is an important announcement and we might institutionalize this, especially we are aware that dengue peaks do happen every three years,” he added.

But Duque was quick to clarify that “we don’t have a national epidemic. It’s localized, at the most at the regional level. Again, there is no national epidemic but there is certainly regional.”

DOH data shows that dengue cases nationwide have reached a cumulative figure of 106,630, including 456 deaths, for a case fatality rate of .4 percent for the period of January 1 to June 29 this year.

Most of the cases are from Western Visayas (13,164), Calabarzon (11,474), Central Visayas (9,199), Soccsksargen (9,107), and Northern Mindanao (8,739).

“This is 85 percent higher compared to the same period last year, which was 57,564,” Duque said
Asked why the figures are higher this year compared to previous years, Duque simply pointed to the nature of the disease.

“The observed dengue spikes every three to four years are really a phenomenon. No science is able to explain, except for circumstantial evidence of climate change and other factors,” he said.

Duque said MIMAROPA (Region IV-B), Western Visayas (Region VI), Central Visayas (Region VII), and Northern Mindanao (Region X) have exceeded their epidemic thresholds.

Similarly, several regions are also being monitored after they exceeded the alert threshold. These include Ilocos, Cagayan Valley, Cordillera Administrative Region, CALABARZON, Bicol, Eastern Visayas, Zamboanga Peninsula, Davao, and the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

DOH – Epidemiology Bureau Director Dr. Ferchito Avelino said the epidemic and alert thresholds vary per region.

Threshold is the average cases of dengue in a particular area in a particular time for the last three to five years.

“We compute the average and compute for the standard deviation… the first deviation will correspond to alert level while the second level will correspond to the epidemic level,” Avelino said.

Duque urged the public to observe the “4S strategy,” which stands for Search and destroy mosquito breeding places, Self-protective measures like wearing long sleeves and use of insect repellent, Seek early consultation on the first signs and symptoms of the disease, and Say yes to fogging if there is an impending outbreak.

“There are a lot of efforts we can do and we can alleviate the severity of the dengue outbreak if we pursue some of the simple measures,” Duque said, stressing: “Dengue is preventable through the 4S strategy and early detection. Do the 4S and know its signs and symptoms.”

Category: National | Malaya Business Insight

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