By NewsDesk  @infectiousdiseasenews

Health authorities in the Philippines report a slowing of the dengue epidemic that has ravaged the country this year.

With just over 4,400 cases reported the week ending Nov. 2,  Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said, “Hopefully this is the end of our dengue epidemic so I hope next year we’ll see a much lower incidence of dengue.”

Since the beginning of the year, 387,254 cases have been reported, up from 194,267 in 2018.

On Aug. 6, the Department of Health declared a dengue epidemic on the archipelago and the total cases this year is the most seen in a decade.

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).

Image/ via wikimedia commons

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 outbreak: ‘Probably the worst we’ve had since 2010’ says CDC epidemiologist

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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