Dengue alert declared in The Philippines

PHOTO: Philippine Star

Dengue cases have doubled in Thailand this year. And in The Philippines a similar situation is unfolding. Health authorities in The Philippines are declaring a national dengue alert after a spike in cases leaving more than 450 people dead since the start of 2019.

Around 100,000 dengue cases were reported across The Philippines in the first six months of 2019, an increase of 85% on the same period last year. This surge in dengue cases comes as the country is grappling with a nationwide measles outbreak, which authorities say has killed more people so far this year than all of 2018 and puts 2.6 million children at risk.

Epidemics of dengue have been declared in Mimaropa, Western Visayas, Central Visayas, and Northern Mindanao, areas that contain about 20 million people – 20% of The Philippines population. Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said 106,630 dengue cases had been reported from January 1 to June 29, 2019 – 85% more than the 57,564 cases reported from the same period in 2018.

While it is most common in tropical and sub-tropical climates such as Te Philippines, India and Brazil, a recent study shows that global rising temperatures caused by the climate change are likely to see mosquitoes which carry dengue – along with other diseases such as chikungunya, yellow fever and Zika – move further north (in the northern hemisphere and south in the southern hemisphere), affecting states in the southern US, inland Australia and coastal areas of China and Japan.

Dengue cases in the Philippines have historically surged every three to four years, and the sharp increase this year is in line with expectations after a spike in cases nationwide in 2016.

World News
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