NINE people, including seven in Central Luzon, have already died this year due to the mosquito-borne Japanese encephalitis (JE), the Department of Health (DOH) said Tuesday.
Of the nine deaths reported from January 1 to August 26, the health authorities said seven were reported in Central Luzon, including four in Pampanga, two in Zambales, and one in Nueva Ecija.
The other two deaths were recorded in Pangasinan and Laguna.
Of the 133 JE cases recorded this year, 53 are in Central Luzon.
Health Secretary Paulyn Ubial said there is nothing unusual with the number of JE cases.
"There is no surge. The cases reported this year is lower than last year," said Ubial in an interview.
Ubial however stressed the lower number of cases this year will not stop them from including the JE in the DOH's Expanded Program on Immunization by 2018.
Japanese encephalitis is a disease spread through mosquito bites.
Symptoms of the JE, which usually take five to 15 days to develop, include fever, headache, vomiting, confusion, and difficulty in moving.
JE is also known to cause swelling around the brain and, subsequently, result to the patient going on coma, thereby making it a serious disease that may cause death. (HDT/SunStar Philippines)