While dengue fever cases are down significantly in the Philippines in 2014, one town in Pampanga province has declared a dengue fever outbreak as dozens of cases and two fatalities have been reported during the first 8+ months of the year.

Aedes albopictus female mosquito feeding on a human host/James Gathany

Dr. Jesse Fantone, chief of the DOH’s Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit (RESU), said the number of dengue cases in Sta. Rita town went up to 84 cases, including two deaths, from January to September this year.

Fantone said the figure is up by 91 percent compared to only seven cases in the same period last year. In addition to the 84 cases, two children died last week from complications due to the mosquito borne virus.

After recording a whopping 127,000 dengue fever cases in 2013, the Philippines Department of Health (DOH) is reporting a dramatic decrease in cases of the mosquito borne virus so far in 2014.

Based on DOH surveillance reports from Jan. 1 to Aug. 16, 2014, the Philippines have seen 49,591 cases, a decrease of some 61 percent. To date, 205 people have died as a result of dengue.

Symptoms of dengue include high fever, headache and muscle pain. Severe forms of dengue can cause difficulties in breathing, hemorrhage and even death if patients do not receive early and appropriate treatment. Chikungunya causes high fever initially, accompanied by joint pain. Severe complications are uncommon, but older adults with chronic diseases, children and pregnant women are at risk of more serious illness. There is currently no vaccine for either disease. For more infectious disease news and information, visit and “like” the Infectious Disease News Facebook page