Before the rainy season ends, I suspect there will be more than 20,000 cases of Dengue Fever (DF) reported all across the country.
Last time I posted about DF, there were more than 12,000 cases. Now, the DoH's National Epidemiology Center reports that there are 14,142 cases of dengue fever as of August 11, and this represents a 23 percent rise from the same period last year.
So, I did a little math (see the image on the left) and figured that come August 19th, the total number of cases must be nearing 16,000.
Before you get alarmed, I want you to know that the figures are still relatively good. In 1998, there were more than 40,000 cases. And compared to our neighbors like Indonesia (nearly 40,000 cases already), and Vietnam (15,500 cases as of last week), our figures are still low. Even industrialized Singapore is having problems curbing the increasing number of Dengue cases as early as July this year.
"We anticipate more cases until October, when cases usually begin to decline," Tayag [Dr Eric Tayag is head of the National Epidemiology Center] told The Associated Press. We issued a nationwide dengue alert so local governments can prepare if they have not yet done so.
He said the alert was declared after more than 100 barangays were found to have a "cluster of cases" --- more than two dengue-stricken patients in each of the last four weeks.
Tayag said the outbreak has been confined to three areas: Zamboanga City, Barangay Pagasa in Quezon City, and a town in Nueva Ecija.
Under a nationwide alert, local governments are asked to intensify educational campaigns about dengue fever, adopt an organized mosquito-control system, ensure prompt diagnosis and treatment in hospitals, have blood supplies on standby and increase surveillance of cases.
[ Manila Times, Aug 17 2005 ]
I like the sound of the "organized mosquito-control system."
However, I can only wish that it is true.