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Philippines: Dengue Outbreak Information Bulletin

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This bulletin is being issued for information only and reflects the current situation and details available at this time. The Philippine Department of Health (DOH) has requested support from Philippine Red Cross (PRC) and with the support of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), will seek funding thru DREF activation to provide support to the affected population.

The situation From 1 January to 29 June 2019, 106,630 dengue cases have been officially reported nationwide through the Philippines Integrated Disease Surveillance and Response (PIDSR), an 85 per cent increase from the 57,564 cases reported over the same period in 20181 . With 456 deaths recorded, the Case Fatality Rate (CFR) is pegged at 0.43 per cent, lower than 0.55 per cent in the same period last year. The median age of cases is 12 years, the most affected age group among dengue cases is five to nine years old (23 per cent). The most affected age group among dengue deaths is also five to nine years old (39 per cent).

On Monday, 15 July 2019, the DOH has declared a national dengue alert amid the surge in reported cases of the mosquito-borne viral illness. The national dengue alert was issued to urge regional DOH offices to step up dengue surveillance, case management and outbreak response in primary health facilities and hospitals, as well as through community and school-based health education campaigns, clean-up drives, surveillance activities, case investigations, vector control, and logistics support for dengue control (insecticides, rapid diagnostics tests, medicine, etc).

The National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (NDRRMC), has raised the Code Blue alert, activating the national Health Cluster, led by DoH and PRC is cooperating/supporting DOH on the responses. This is a response level alert for 50 per cent agency resource mobilization. This means that teams have been mobilized to augment existing regular day-today resources. Likewise, logistics are mobilized to affected areas or to treat patients.

The DOH is undertaking a nationwide public information campaign to follow the ‘4-S method’ which stands for “search and destroy” mosquito-breeding sites, employ “self-protection measures” such as wearing pants and long-sleeved shirts, and daily use of mosquito repellent, “seek early consultation”, and “support fogging/spraying” in areas where an increase in cases is registered for two consecutive weeks to prevent an impending outbreak.

The most affected areas are Western Visayas (Region VI), which had the greatest number of reported dengue cases so far this year with 13,164, followed by Calabarzon (Region IVA) with 11,474 cases, Central Visayas (Region VII) with 9,199 cases, Region XII or Soccsksargen 2 (9,107 cases) and Region X or Northern Mindanao (8,738 cases) .

Iloilo, Aklan, Antique and Guimaras provinces in Western Visayas declared an outbreak, with many municipalities seeking a state of calamity.

The provincial government of Iloilo has reported that their 12 hospitals are licensed to accommodate 615 patients daily; with the dengue outbreak, the bed occupancy rate went up to 316% or 1,863 patients and continuously increasing. Iloilo Province declared dengue outbreak last 5 July 2019.

Dengue cases have been observed to peak every three to four years. The last peak occurred 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.