Dengue death toll rises to 491 in July

MANILA, Philippines –  A total of 491 people have died due to dengue this year as of July 6, according to the latest figures released by the Department of Health (DOH) on Saturday, July 20.

This is higher than the 336 deaths recorded during the same period last year. Earlier this week, the DOH recorded 456 deaths for the period covering January 1 to June 30, 2019.

Based on the DOH monitoring from June 30 to July 6,  there were 5,744 more cases nationwide, or a 22% spike from last year's 4,703.  This figure brings the total number of cases to 115,986 across the country since January 1.

According to DOH figures, Western Visayas recorded the most cases at 15,826, followed by Calabarzon with 12,780 cases. 

Soccsksargen ranked 3rd with 9,572 cases, followed by Northern Mindanao with 9354, and Central Visayas with 9,259.

Metro Manila, recorded 7,768 cases as of July 6, lower than last year's 8,603 cases. 

According to the DOH, the most affected age group is the 5-to-9 age bracket which accounts for 23% of the total cases, followed by the 10-to-14 age bracket (19%.)

The number of male dengue patients during the period outnumbered female patients at 52% and 48%, respectively.

Earlier this week, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III declared a national dengue alert as cases continued to rise in several regions in the country.

Duque explained that dengue cases had been observed to peak every 3 to 4 years, with the last peak occurring in 2016. Given the pattern, the health department expects an increase in cases this year.

This rise in dengue cases comes as the health department continues to monitor the ongoing measles outbreak– Aika Rey/Rappler.com