The city of Baybay, Leyte, south of Tacloban has declared a state of health emergency earlier this week due to an increase in dengue fever cases, according to the Philippine News Agency.

Image/Baybay City Health Office
Image/Baybay City Health Office

According to regional health officials, 170 cases have been reported, including three fatalities.

“The city government declared the health emergency to prevent the spread of this mosquito-borne disease and possible outbreak by mobilizing all resources,” DOH regional information officer John Paul Roca said Wednesday.

Roca said the entire Eastern Visayas has reported a total of 1,947 cases with 16 deaths from January to this week, which is 21 percent lower compared to last year.

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In the first five months of 2017, Philippines health officials recorded nearly 41,000 dengue fever cases. During the same period of 2018, officials are reporting a 7 percent decrease.

From 1 January to 26 May 2018, dengue cases nationwide reached 37,959. There were 195 deaths recorded.

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Dengue is a viral infection transmitted by the bite of an infected mosquito. There are four closely related but antigenically different serotypes of the virus that can cause dengue (DEN1, DEN 2, DEN 3, DEN 4).

  • Dengue Fever (DF) – marked by an onset of sudden high fever, severe headache, pain behind the eyes, and pain in muscles and joints. Some may also have a rash and varying degree of bleeding from various parts of the body (including nose, mouth and gums or skin bruising).Dengue has a wide spectrum of infection outcome (asymptomatic to symptomatic). Symptomatic illness can vary from dengue fever (DF) to the more serious dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF).
  • Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever (DHF) – is a more severe form, seen only in a small proportion of those infected. DHF is a stereotypic illness characterized by 3 phases; febrile phase with high continuous fever usually lasting for less than 7 days; critical phase (plasma leaking) lasting 1-2 days usually apparent when fever comes down, leading to shock if not detected and treated early; convalescence phase lasting 2-5 days with improvement of appetite, bradycardia (slow heart rate), convalescent rash (white patches in red background), often accompanied by generalized itching (more intense in palms and soles), and diuresis (increase urine output).
  • Dengue Shock Syndrome (DSS) — Shock syndrome is a dangerous complication of dengue infection and is associated with high mortality. Severe dengue occurs as a result of secondary infection with a different virus serotype. Increased vascular permeability, together with myocardial dysfunction and dehydration, contribute to the development of shock, with resultant multiorgan failure.

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