The Philippines are reporting a surge of dengue fever cases from early August to early September, according to new numbers released by Department of Health (DOH)  spokesman Lyndon Lee Suy Wednesday.

Suy noted that since the beginning of the year through Sep. 5, the country has reported 78,808 dengue fever cases. This is up from 55,079 cases reported on Aug. 8, an increase of 23,729 cases in four weeks.

Aedes aegypti/CDC
Aedes aegypti/CDC

In addition, the number of cases reported represent a 16.5 percent increase in cases compared to the same period in 2014 when 67,637 cases were recorded. 233 dengue related deaths have been reported.

Dengue fever is an infectious disease carried by mosquitoes and caused by any of four related dengue viruses. This disease was once called called “break-bone fever” because it sometimes causes severe joint and muscle pain that feels like bones are breaking.

Dengue fever of multiple types is found in most countries of the tropics and subtropics particularly during and after rainy season.

There are four types of dengue virus: DEN-1, DEN-2, DEN-3 and DEN-4.

People get the dengue virus from the bite of an infected Aedes mosquito. It is not contagious from person to person.

There are three types of dengue fever in order of less severe to most: the typical uncomplicated dengue fever, dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHS) and dengue shock syndrome (DSS).

Robert Herriman is a microbiologist and the Editor-in-Chief of Outbreak News Today and the Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch

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