Dengue cases plateauing but DOH warns amid rainy season

Mosquito (SunStar file)
Mosquito (SunStar file)

THE Department of Health (DOH) said the cases of Dengue in the country have been plateauing but it warned that it may spike again with the onset of the rainy season.

In a statement, the health department said the number of dengue cases in the country went down to 3,992 from May 12 to 25 from 5,359 from April 28 to May 11.

From January to May 25, 67,874 dengue cases have already been recorded, higher compared to the over 45,000 dengue cases during the same period in 2023.

Dengue deaths, however, are lower for the said period in 2024 at 189 from 171 in 2023.

The DOH noted a significant decrease in dengue cases in 2023 attributed to the dry season or El Niño.

The DOH urged the public not to be complacent as the country expects to experience more rain during the wet season as well as the expected La Niña phenomenon which means more water that can serve as mosquito breeding grounds.

“The solution is simple to say but needs community effort to do: kill mosquitoes so that the dengue they bring will not kill you. The rains may have started but we can still search and destroy mosquito breeding sites – wherever water can accumulate and stay still,” said Health Secretary Teodoro Herbosa.

Herbosa also urged the public to use self-protection measures like the wearing of long sleeves and pants that cover the skin, or mosquito-repellent lotions and sprays.

He said seeking early consultation for any symptoms like fever, headache, muscle and joint pains, nausea, and rashes will also make a difference in avoiding complications which may be brought about by dengue.

He said fogging of areas in the community which may be serving as breeding grounds for mosquitoes is also a big help.

“Dengue is seasonal. We may have low case counts now, but if we relax, they will go up more than we want. Keep killing mosquitoes and stop them from biting you and your loved ones. Let’s keep Dengue down!” Herbosa added.

Dengue is caused by a virus that mosquitoes spread to people. It is common in tropical climates like what the Philippines has.

Most who get dengue will not experience symptoms, but should there be, the most common are high fever (40 degrees Celsius), severe headache, muscle and joint pains, nausea, and rashes. There may also be pain behind the eyes, vomiting, and swollen glands. Symptoms start 4 to 10 days after exposure to a mosquito bite and can last for 2 to 7 days. Most will get better in 1 to 2 weeks.

Some people get severe dengue which can be fatal and will have to be treated in a hospital. Symptoms of severe dengue often come after the high fever has gone.

These symptoms include severe abdominal pain, persistent vomiting, rapid breathing, bleeding gums and nose, fatigue, restlessness, blood in vomit or stool, intense thirst, pale and cold skin, and feeling weak.

Dengue is treated for its symptoms, often with pain medicine, as there is no specific treatment at present. (TPM/SunStar Philippines)

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