The mosquito vector of dengue, chikungunya and Zika viruses has been named “Public Enemy #1” by the Philippines Department of Health (DOH) as the numbers for these mosquito borne illnesses rise on the Southeast Asian archipelago.


Through Sep. 24, health officials put the dengue fever tally in the country 142,247 cases, an 11 percent increase from last year when they recorded 200,000 cases in all of 2015 and a 40,000 case increase in a month.

In addition, health officials put the official chikungunya case count at 3,473 during the same period with a bulk of the cases reported from the Calabarzon region (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon).

As of the end of September, the Philippines had recorded 12 Zika virus cases.

Dengue fever is a disease caused by any one of four closely related dengue viruses (DENV 1, DENV 2, DENV 3, or DENV 4). The viruses are transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected Aedes mosquito.

The principal symptoms of dengue fever are high fever, severe headache, severe pain behind the eyes, joint pain, muscle and bone pain, rash, and mild bleeding(e.g., nose or gums bleed, easy bruising). Generally, younger children and those with their first dengue infection have a milder illness than older children and adults.

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates there may be 50–100 million dengue infections worldwide every year. However, new research from the University of Oxford and the Wellcome Trust, using cartographic approaches, estimate there to be 390 million dengue infections per year worldwide.