DOH to investigate rise in dengue cases in Philippine Children's Medical Center

MANILA, Philippines – After several doctors in the Philippine Children’s Medical Center contracted severe dengue, the Department of Health (DOH) said it was investigating the upsurge of dengue cases in the hospital.

DOH Undersecretary Eric Domingo told reporters on Monday, September 24, that the department sent surveillance officers to determine where the source of dengue was coming from.

“There are a lot of cases; (it's) unusual and it could be its because its the referral center for dengue cases among children. But we want to make sure and identify the source of infection, if its in the hospital or outside,” Domingo said in a mix of Filipino and English.

He noted there were several areas in Quezon City that may have dengue-carrying mosquitos.

What rise in cases? The PCMC said Thursday, September 20, that 5 of its doctors had severe dengue. While 4 fully recovered, one of its fellows, Dr Sherie Pera Villacorta from Baguio, died.

PCMC spokesperson Dr Sonia Gonzalez told Rappler the hospital has had an average of 100 dengue cases per month since June this year, as compared to the average 25 cases it observed previously.

Gonzalez said the most number of cases was seen in August, when the hospital recorded 214 cases of dengue. There were also 92 cases of dengue recorded as of September 15

Check-ups: Domingo said all employees of the hospital were undergoing close check-ups and interviews for symptoms to ensure other workers did not have the illness.

The DOH likewise warned other hospitals and ordered the search and destruction of any possible breeding grounds for mosquitos.

While dengue is a threat throughout the year, the disease usually peaks during the rainy season. – Rappler.com

Sofia Tomacruz

Sofia Tomacruz covers foreign affairs, the overseas Filipino workers, and elections. She also writes stories on the treatment of women and children. Follow her on Twitter @sofiatomacruz. Email her at sofia.tomacruz@rappler.com.

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