Health Care

DOH declares national dengue epidemic due to surge of dengue cases

DOH declares national dengue epidemic due to surge of dengue cases”

"It is important that a national epidemic be declared in these area to identify where a localized response is needed, and to enable the local government units to use their Quick Response Fund to address the epidemic situation".

Duque said the United Nations agency also advised Manila that the vaccine was "not recommended" as a response to an outbreak, and it was anyway "not cost-effective" with one dose costing a thousand pesos (about $20).

An outbreak of dengue fever in the Philippines has been declared a national epidemic after causing hundreds of deaths this year. These regions are: Region IV-A (CALABARZON) with 16,515 cases; MIMAROPA - 4,254; V (Bicol) with 3,470; VI (Western Visayas) with 23,330; VIII (Eastern Visayas) with 7,199; IX (Zamboanga Peninisula) with 12, 317; and X (Northern Mindanao) with 11,455 cases.

In Southern Mindanao and Soccsksargen, Digos City posted the highest number of dengue cases in Davao del Sur, while Kidapawan City also registered the biggest number of cases in North Cotabato.

The Philippines in 2016 became the first nation to use Dengvaxia in a mass immunization program. The drug was distributed to nearly a million children through a school immunisation program, with the government arguing that it had been approved for use by the World Health Organization.

The infection triggers a severe flu-like illness, often followed by a severe drop in a patient's blood platelet count.

With the discontinuation of Dengvaxia, the Philippines has been left with little means to combat the spread of dengue, Duque said.

Dengue, or hemorrhagic fever, is the world's most common mosquito-borne virus and infects an estimated 390 million people in more than 120 countries each year - killing more than 25,000 of them, according to the WHO.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said the declaration would improve the response to the outbreak, which so far this year has caused 622 deaths.

The Food and Drug Administration in February revoked the vaccine's CPR, permanently banning it from the market. The Health Department, however, suspended the drive after Sanofi Pasteur announced the vaccine can pose risks to individuals with no dengue history. Other vaccines are in development.

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