By NewsDesk    @infectiousdiseasenews

Aedes aegypti/CDC

Officials in the Zamboanga Peninsula are expressing alarm over the increase in dengue fever cases this year in the region.

According to DOH-Region 9 director, Dr. Emilia Monicimpo, 8,076 cases of dengue, including 46 deaths have been recorded as of July 6 this year, or 285 percent higher than the 2,067 cases registered in the same period last year.

Zamboanga City has seen the most cases in the region with  2,662 cases, followed by Zamboanga Sibugay with 2,566 cases; Zamboanga del Sur with 1,549 cases and Zamboanga del Norte with 1,035.

Nationally, 106,630 dengue fever cases were recorded during the first six months of the year, an increase of 85 percent over last year, prompting the Department of Health to issue a national alert.

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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.