20 September 2006

Confusing, Conflicting Dengue Numbers

Here's an excerpt from the latest news about dengue:
Dr. Eric Tayag, chief of the DoH’s National Epidemiology Center, said the current dengue figures would not surpass last year’s level unless half of the country’s 16 regions post an increase in the cases of the mosquito-borne disease.

The latest dengue bulletin released by the DoH showed that some 15,635 dengue infections have been recorded as of September 13 this year compared to 26,370 from January 1 to September 30 last year. Tayag said this meant that dengue cases dropped by 40.7 percent in the first nine months of 2006 compared with the same period last year.

However, there were more deaths this year at 324 compared to 195 in 2005.

[SOURCE: INQ7.net, 19 Sept 2006 ]

Great news, right? But, wait! Let us read this excerpt from another dengue news report LAST YEAR (yes, from the same paper):
"This was a bad year for dengue," Dr. Eric Tayag, chief government epidemiologist, told the Inquirer Tuesday, shortly after the Department of Health (DoH) released its final report on the virus’ rampage this year.

A total of 21,817 people came down with dengue between Jan. 1 and Oct. 2, exceeding the 20,000 cases projected by the DoH. But this was still a far cry from the 40,000 cases recorded during the dengue crisis of 1998.

[SOURCE: INQ7.net, 13 Oct 2005 ]

Based on the news reports above, these are the dengue numbers quoted:

Tell me it's just a case of bad reporting, and that the DoH had nothing to do with it.

Why the conflicting figures?

'Want more confusion? Read this.

2 reactions:

ipanema said...

In all honesty, their website isn't even updated. I was searching for hours just for the PREVIOUS POST's statistics. They have mortality rates for dengue and malaria from 1999-2002 ONLY.

Where did they get their figures and why are they issuing conflicting data anyway?

DOH, if you have updated data, please, update your WEBSITE. It's in a sad state. Their last update (page update NOT data!) was sometime January this year. There's no statistics from 2003-2005.

If they issue data for press release, it should be uploaded to the website so people can counter check. So, PDI has to check figures. As per latest news, there's a discrepancy of 17 days (Jan-Sept 30, 2005/Jan-Sept 13, 2006). That's 10,000+ cases to equal last year's. Depending on the death rate per day/population? If you take their PDI's 2005 figures at 21,817 from Jan-October 2, 2005 and this year's 15,635 (Jan-Sept 13) it's 19 days more to October 2. And 5,000+ cases to equal last year's. Again, depends on the death rate per day/population.

For the PREVIOUS POST's statistics I have to rely the article to extrapolate. Otherwise, there's no knowing where they based their conclusion as there is NO DATA on their website. Poor management DOH.

Dr. Emer said...

Amen, Ipanema. Amen!

Madami ng namamatay, mali pa ang data. Ano pa ang mas lulungkot dito?