DOH reports almost 20,000 dengue cases in Q1

Jee Y. Geronimo

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DOH reports almost 20,000 dengue cases in Q1
This is 6.49% higher than in the first 3 months of 2014, but less deaths are recorded this year compared to the 85 deaths in 2014

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) has recorded 19,946 suspected dengue cases in the first 3 months of 2015 – 6.49% higher than the same period in 2014.

Dengue, a disease common in tropical and sub-tropical countries in the world, is transmitted through the bite of an Aedes mosquito. Dengue fever is potentially fatal and mainly affects children.

Based on the latest report from DOH’s epidemiology bureau, the region with the highest number of cases is Calabarzon (3,778 cases), followed by Central Luzon (2,732 cases), the National Capital Region (2,628 cases), and Northern Mindanao (2,241 cases).

2015 2014
I 702 644
II 744 585
III 2,732 2,120
IV-A 3,778 2,246
IV-B 208 427
V 247 180
VI 627 1,020
VII 1,317 1,176
VIII 277 1,948
IX 876 924
X 2,241 1,179
XI 968 1,253
XII 1,142 1,514
ARMM 312 138
CAR 327 426
CARAGA 820 1,160
NCR 2,628 1,790
TOTAL 19,946 18,730

ARMM recorded the highest increase in the number of cases at 126.1%, while Eastern Visayas saw the highest decrease at 85.8%.

The 5-page report, signed by Vito Roque Jr – the newly-designated officer-in-charge of the epidemiology bureau – covers the period January 1 to April 4, 2015.

Although the number of cases this year is higher than in 2014 (18,730 cases), less deaths were recorded, with only 53 deaths in 2015 compared to 85 deaths in 2014.

Most of the cases involved males (54.5%), and belonged to the 5 years old to 14 years old age group (38.7%). The youngest Filipino who had dengue was a less-than-a-month-old baby.

The Philippines is one of 4 countries in the Western Pacific which reported the highest dengue incidence in recent years. (READ: PH spends less than P1B to fight neglected tropical diseases)

The country is pinning its hopes on a dengue vaccine tested here and in 4 other Asian countries after it showed promising overall efficacy. It will be available in the health department’s vaccine program by July 2015. –

Close-up of a mosquito sucking blood from Shutterstock

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Jee Y. Geronimo

Jee is part of Rappler's Central Desk, handling most of the world, science, and environment stories on the site. She enjoys listening to podcasts and K-pop, watching Asian dramas, and running long distances. She hopes to visit Israel someday to retrace the steps of her Savior.