THE number of dengue cases in the country continues to surge with the figure already nearing 55,000 based on the figures released by the Department of Health (DOH)–National Epidemiology Center (NEC) Tuesday.

In its Disease Surveillance Report from the period of January 1 to August 14, the NEC noted that there are now 54,659 cases reported in hospitals in the Philippines.

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“This is 74.9 percent higher compared to the same time period last year, which was only at 31,248,” the report added.

The deaths due to dengue were also higher with 429 recorded compared to the 327 in 2009 during the same period.

Western Visayas had the highest number of cases with 7,680, which is 126 percent higher than the 3,384 cases during the same period last year.

On the other hand, Eastern Visayas was shown as having the biggest increase in cases with 1,378 percent from having only 375 cases in 2009 to the current 5,543 cases.

Other regions with the highest number of dengue cases include Soccsksargen with 6,470 cases followed by Calabarzon with 5,739 cases; National Capital Region with 4,744 cases; and Davao with 4,658 cases.

The health department had already admitted that they were expecting the number of cases to go up but not as high as it is now.

It also acknowledged that the current trend of cases brings the possibility that the number could reach an all-time high.

The DOH had repeatedly stressed that the most effective way to fight dengue is by practicing their 4-S strategy -- Search and destroy, Self-protective measures, Seek early treatment and Say, no to indiscriminate fogging. (AMN/Sunnex)