The number of dengue fever cases in the Philippines has surged in recent months and as of the beginning of October, the number of cases are up 32 percent compared to the same period last year.

Aedes aegypti mosquito feeding on a human host/CDC
Aedes aegypti mosquito feeding on a human host/CDC

From 1 January to 3 October 2015, there were 108,263 suspected cases of dengue, including 317 deaths, reported in Philippines. This is 31.9% higher compared with the same reporting period in 2014 (n=82,049).

Some regions are seeing large increases in dengue, for example, the Ilocos region has seen a more than 100 percent increase in infections of the mosquito borne virus. However, other areas of the country are reporting better numbers.

In the Davao Region in the southern Philippines, health officials report cases are down 65 percent.  Department of Health Region XI Director Abdullah Dumama declared recently that the number of dengue cases in the region decreased to 3,068 on January to October this year from 8,841 on the same period last year.

Dengue related fatalities are at 11 this year, compared to 41 last year.

In addition, in Barangay Dau in Pampanga, the local chairman said there is not a dengue outbreak despite an increase in cases.

Dau Barangay Chairman Oscar Aurelio, a medical doctor by profession said, “There is no outbreak. When you say outbreak it means that there are several cases in a purok or a certain place. But in our area, the 34 cases of dengue are scattered in the more than 30 puroks,” Aurelio said.

The Department of Health (DOH) earlier reported that Mabalacat City is second in the list of dengue affected areas in Pampanga.

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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