The Philippines reported in excess of 200,000 dengue fever cases in 2015 and early in 2016, the archipelago has reported an increase of some 30 percent through the first quarter of 2016.
In the Visayas, one of the three principal geographical divisions of the Philippines, the others being Luzon and Mindanao, the provincial health office in Negro Occidental has recorded and increase in dengue fever by a whopping 174 percent, compared to the same period in 2015.
According to local media, from the beginning of the year through June 4, Negros Occidental has seen 945 dengue cases reported year-to-date, or an increase of 601 cases compared to 344 last year.
The hardest hit municipalities have been Silay City, San Carlos City and Himamaylan City. Four dengue related fatalities have been reported– two in San Carlos City, and one each in La Carlota and Hinobaan.
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 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 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 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).