While the dengue fever burden has decreased nationwide in the Philippines during the first few months of 2017, the capital city of  Negros Occidental province, Bacolod City has seen a doubling in cases through the first five months, according to a Sun Star report Thursday.

Aedes albopictus/FotoshopTofs
Aedes albopictus/FotoshopTofs

Dr. Grace Tan, head of the CHO Environmental Sanitation Division, said that from January to May 13 this year, Bacolod City has a total of 297 dengue cases, from only 146 cases in the previous year, an increase of 103 percent.

In addition, four dengue-related fatalities were reported during this period.

Nationally, The Philippines Department of Health, National Epidemiology Centre has reported 26,433 suspected cases of dengue from the beginning of the year through the end of March. This compares with 41,170 cases for the same period in 2016, a decrease of 35.8 percent.

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.