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46 died, 6,190 fell ill with dengue in January, February — report

Posted on: March 8, 2010

46 died, 6,190 fell ill with dengue in January, February — report

Suspected measles cases hit 1,328
By Jerry E. Esplanada, Anna Valmero
Philippine Daily Inquirer, INQUIRER.net
First Posted 15:56:00 03/08/2010

Filed Under: Health, Diseases

MANILA, Philippines — Dengue cases went up to 6,236 cases in the first two months of 2010, an 11 percent-increase over last year’s figures (5,616) in the same period, the National Epidemiology Center (NEC) of the Department of Health (DOH) said Monday.

A total of 46 dengue-related deaths were reported between January 1 and February 28, mostly in the 1-to-10 age group in Central Visayas, Northern Mindanao, Eastern Visayas, Metro Manila, and the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

Metro Manila topped the number of dengue cases with 1,210; followed by Central Visayas, 855; Eastern Visayas, 644; Southern Tagalog, 636; and the Davao provinces, 517.

According to the NEC, dengue cases “went above the epidemic threshold in week 1 but went down to the alert threshold in weeks 2 to 5.”

Meanwhile, a total of 1,328 persons showing symptoms of measles were admitted to an undisclosed number of state-run and private hospitals nationwide during the past two months, according to the NEC.

However, only 742 of these were confirmed measles cases, the NEC clarified on Monday.

In a disease surveillance report, the NEC said the reported cases were “234 percent higher compared to the same period in 2009.”

“Five died compared to only two deaths in 2009. Three of the fatalities belonged to the less than 9 months age group while one belonged to the 1 to 4 years age group,” the NEC also disclosed.

In its report, the NEC said most of the confirmed measles cases, mainly in the 1 to 4 years age level, were from the following regions: Metro Manila, 471; Southern Tagalog, 77; Bicol, 57; Central Luzon, 43; Western Visayas, 35; and Eastern Visayas, 14.

Measles outbreaks were also raised in Barangay 7, a village in Tanauan City, Batangas and Calategas village in Narra, Palawan, said the report.

Measles cases in Central Luzon posted an increase of 4,200 percent over 2009 figures, followed by Metro Manila cases, which increased by 659.7 percent; Mindoro-Marinduque-Romblon-Palawan by 500 percent; Southern Tagalog by 413.3 percent; and Eastern Visayas with 180 percent.

Metro Manila has the most number of recorded cases at 471, up by 659 percent from the same period last year, the NEC official said in its disease surveillance report. It is followed by Calabarzon with 77 cases, Central Luzon, 43 and Western Visayas, 35.

Areas with confirmed outbreak in Metro Manila as reported last week include: Barangay (village) 275, 210, 34, and 198 in Tondo; Barangay (village) 791 and 767 in San Andres Bukid, all in Manila; Filinvest Corporate City in Alabang; Barangay (village) San Antonio, San Dionisio, Purok 6, Cairo and Moonwalk in Parañaque; as well as Market 3 Fishport and NBBN in Navotas.

On the other hand, they decreased in Cagayan Valley, Cordillera Administrative Region, Central Visayas, Northern Mindanao, and ARMM.

“Most of the reported measles cases nationwide (68 percent) had no reported history of measles immunization,” the NEC also said.

“Vaccination is the only prevention against measles. But to prevent adverse effects, it is also advised that you have a healthy body for stronger resistance,” said Dr. Lyndon Lee Suy, infectious diseases program manager at the DOH.

For his part, NEC Director Dr. Eric Tayag encouraged Filipinos to have a positive health-seeking behavior and seek medical help when they feel symptoms of measles like fever and sore eyes.

Both the National Center for Health Promotion and the National Center for Disease Prevention and Control have asked the public to watch out for a number of “potential risks” brought about by the onset of the El Niño phenomenon.

In a joint advisory, the DOH-attached offices warned against diseases like diarrhea, cholera, paralytic shellfish poisoning, heat stroke, heat cramps, and heat exhaustion.

Aside from measles, other diseases caused by high temperatures include chicken pox, flu, sore eyes, and hypertension.

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