20 September 2006

Straight From The Horse's Mouth

Let me correct myself from what I said in my previous posts: It is not just a case of bad news reporting, but a whole set of confusing, conflicting dengue numbers from the DoH-NEC itself.

Finally! I found a link that proves my point that if you don't have the correct numbers, then you will obviously get the wrong statistics, and the WRONG CONCLUSIONS.

As always the trusted Google cache of information has worked! Check out this piece of useful data about the 2005 Dengue picture straight from the DoH's National Epidemiology Center (NEC) last year.

Here's a screen capture of the Table that can be found there (the red arrows and circle are mine):

Compare the Dengue table above with the Table the DoH published last weekend, and please tell me now --- no,please convince me --- that "dengue cases dropped by 40.7 percent in the first nine months of 2006 compared with the same period last year."

From the SAME period last year, did Dengue cases drop or did they increase? And by how much?

Kindly do the math for me.

9 reactions:

ipanema said...

hi doc,

a.) DOH used PDI stats as of 9/19/06 to conclude a 40% decrease.

2005->26,370 & 2006->15,635 =>40%

b.) IF, they use this NEC figures of 2005, it's not too drastic a decrease, NEVERTHELESS, it's still a decrease.

2005->17,934 & 2006->15,635 =>13%

Of course, if you have wrong statistics, conclusion will be affected.

However, I don't know what's the real situation in Metro Manila right now when it comes to Dengue. These are all numbers, of which I don't know which is correct. Nevertheless, it shows a decrease. By how much depends on which figures one uses.

Dr. Emer said...

Yes, I now agree that there is a decrease in the number of TOTAL dengue cases between last year and as of September this year. Your math is correct, assuming the numbers they give us are accurate. As it is, you can see the dearth of data, and the many conflicting reports. But a 40-percent decrease is NOT the same as a 13-percent decrease. The discrepancy is abominable if we want our data to be accurate and precise. But it seems accuracy and the need to have one updated DATABASE online is the LEAST of DoH's priorities right now.

From the tables here and here, one can also see a significant increase in the number of Dengue cases in the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), Region IV-A (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, and Quezon provinces), and the National Capital Region, where Metro Manila is. Also, Region II is also recently showing spikes in dengue cases.

We can always banner and shout to the world that, "Hey, our overall Dengue picture has actually decreased by 13-15 percent this year compared to the same period in 2005," but the significant increase in the 3 regions mentioned above remains alarming, and makes us ask the following questions:

#1 - Does this indicate a serotype-shift in Dengue?

#2 - Is it just an abnormally increased amount of rainfall this year contributing to more Aedes breeding grounds?

#3 - Have people grown weary of cleaning their surroundings?

#4 - Have community leaders been serious enough with their anti-dengue campaigns?

#5 - How can we gauge the effectiveness of our anti-dengue measures?

#6 - On the increased number of deaths from dengue this year, is it due to lack of facilities or medical expertise...or both?

ipanema said...

I've also noticed those regions of high Dengue incidence Doc. It's quite scary. I don't know what programmes DOH is doing to help the afflicted areas. In Metro Manila, I'm even more anxious.

bayi said...

One trait I like in you, Doc, is your perseverence and the great length that you would go to in order to find the truth. I am going to check your Johari Window again and key in PERSEVERENCE. It shows your commitment to what you think is right ( and correct!).

Sidney said...

Don't know where my comment dissapeared.
So again:

98% of all statistics are made up. -Author Unknown-

Dr. Emer said...

IPANEMA: DoH has those dengue-express lanes now in government hospitals.

BAYI: I don't do this for myself, my friend. I do this for the sake of clarity.

SIDNEY: Oh, you forgot where you left it, huh? It's on the other post --- 2 posts before this one. :)

jhay said...

I heard Cavite is the hotspot as having the most dengue cases for this year as of now. I haven't seen any stats on this but I think I could agree, my cousin from Noveleta was infected, a neighbor of ours was hospitalized, schools here are now asking their students to bring OFF lotion to school.

Dr. Emer said...

Thanks for the heads up, Jhay. Now, we can add Cavite to San Jose Del Monte in Bulacan and the Cagayan Region. These are unofficial, of course, but since there were no visible dengue updates from DoH last weekend, I think we should do the watching ourselves.

mong said...

sec. duque was quoted na magkakaroon na raw ng dengue vaccine by 2010. can you comment on this?