Philippines declares national dengue alert, military hospitals on standby for surge in patients

Philippines declares national dengue alert, military hospitals on standby for surge in patients

An Aedes Aegypti mosquito is seen in a lab of the International Training and Medical Research Train
An Aedes Aegypti mosquito is seen in a laboratory. (File photo: Reuters/Jaime Saldarriaga)

MANILA: The Philippines will prepare military hospitals and clinics for a possible surge in dengue patients after a spike in the number of cases this year, said the Department of Health (DOH) on Wednesday (Jul 17). 

The DOH on Monday declared a national dengue alert for the first time. 

A total of 106,630 dengue cases have been reported from Jan 1 to Jun 29 - 85 per cent more than the number of cases in the same period in 2018. 

About 450 people have died from dengue this year, Philippine media reported.

READ: More mosquitoes or mutating virus? Experts have different views on dengue spike

According to Philippine Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, dengue cases spike every three to four years. The last peak was in 2016, he added.

Regions that have exceeded the epidemic threshold include Mimaropa, Western Visayas, Central Visayas and Northern Mindanao.

READ: The Big Read: As temperatures and urbanisation increase, fight against dengue will only get tougher

A meeting was convened by the DOH on Wednesday to discuss an action plan among various agencies. 

Dengue fever
(Graphic: AFP/Gal Roma)

The Armed Forces of the Philippines and Philippine National Police will help the DOH in the mobilisation of medical teams and logistics. 

The Philippine National Red Cross will boost medical teams to affected area and provide emergency transport, while the Department of Education will enhance dengue awareness and install insecticide-treated screens in schools.

Source: CNA/zl(gs)

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