Dengue in the Philippines

Throughout the year, the Department of Health (DOH) waged an all-out campaign against dengue.

The disease caused by a breed of mosquito claimed the lives of at least 500 people by middle of this year. To prevent more deaths, DoH officials encouraged the public to maximize their health centers for consultations before bringing their patient to the hospital in an effort to declog public hospitals of long queues in the dengue express lane.

“Many dengue cases, if mild, can be managed at home or closely monitored by our local health staff in the communities. Not all dengue cases require hospitalization”, Health Secretary Enrique Ona said.

Ona cited San Lazaro Hospital’s average of 500 consultations a day with only 30 admitted as dengue cases. Ona said that the number of new cases had been going down since August, except in some cities of Metro Manila. Dengue peaks during the rainy months, particularly during the month of August.

The DOH said that the number of dengue cases nationwide reached 69,594 in the first eights months of this year.

Ona, meanwhile, cautioned local health authorities and the public not to let down their guard against dengue, despite expectation that the dengue cases would further go down.

He called on all local government officials to remain vigilant and make sure that their health centers and hospitals are ready to manage consultations for dengue and other diseases that occur during the rainy season such as influenza, bronchitis, diarrheas and leptospirosis.

DOH also devised a new D.E.N.G.U.E. strategy to educate the public on home treatment of mild dengue cases.

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