In this post, I want to look at some of the most significant reportable infectious diseases in the Philippines to date in 2015 and compare to the same period in 2014.
From Jan. 1 to Jun. 27 this year, the Philippines has reported 1,514 suspected and laboratory-confirmed cases of the gastrointestinal bacterial disease, cholera. The CARAGA region of Mindanao saw the most cholera cases by far with 1,140, or 75 percent of all cases.
There has been 6 deaths due to cholera so far this year.
The number of cases of cholera are down compared the the same period in 2014 when 2,205 cases were reported; however, with only one fatality.
Based on the most recent data from epidemiological week 25, the country has reported 32,440 suspected and clinically confirmed dengue fever cases, including 105 deaths, up slightly from 2014, when there were 30,188. During this period last year, 131 dengue fatalities were reported (0.43 case fatality CFR).
Region-IVA, or CALABARZON has seen the most dengue to date with over 5,200 cases.
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Cases of the serious vaccine-preventable disease, diphtheria, has more than doubled during the first 6 months of 2015 compared to 2014. To date, the Philippines has reported 57 cases and 7 deaths (12% CFR), while in 2014, they reported 25 cases/3 deaths.
Cases of Hepatitis A, B and C are all up in 2015 with 388, 1,074 and 32 cases reported, respectively. There were also 11 hepatitis B and 3 hepatitis C deaths. During the same period last year, the archipelago saw 249 hepatitis A cases, 923 hepatitis B and a dozen hepatitis C.
The number of cases of influenza-like illness (ILI) in the Philippines had increased by nearly 5,000 cases in 2015 (43,784 vs 39,052); however, in the first 6 months of 2014, 62 flu-related deaths were reported, compared to 19 this year.
The Central Visayas region (XII) reported more than 10,000 ILI cases, leading all regions.
The bacterial disease, leptospirosis, has been reported in 300 people during the first half of 2015. A nearly 10 percent CFR has been seen this year to date as 29 deaths have been reported.
In 2014, Jan-Jun, 308 cases and 18 deaths were recorded.
Malaria cases are up slightly during the first six months of this year as health officials report 276 cases and 5 deaths, compared to 235 cases and 3 deaths in 2014. Three regions, IVB, XII and ARMM accounted for 85 percent of the total cases in the country.
Related article: Traveling to the Philippines: preventing infection
In what is the most dramatic difference from year to year, measles are down big during the first half of the year compared to the big outbreak year in 2014. As of Jun. 27, the Philippines has recorded 595 laboratory confirmed cases. This compares to nearly 15,000 laboratory confirmed cases last year.
401 tetanus cases seen during the first six months of 2015, an increase of of 76 cases compared to 2014. This year, 57 people died as a result of non-neonatal tetanus for a nearly 15% CFR.
The Philippines have reported 32 cases of neonatal tetanus and 23 deaths (seven out of 10 people died) so far this year. This is up from 2014 when 29 cases and 11 deaths were reported.
During the first 6 months of 2014 and 2015, Philippines health officials reported 124 human rabies cases. 100 percent of those infected died.
Cases of typhoid fever are up slightly in 2015. Health officials report nearly 11,000 suspected and confirmed cases of the bacterial disease. 11 people have died from typhoid. Region X, or Northern Mindanao reported 2,656 cases accounting for nearly a quarter of all cases.
During the first six months of 2014, 10,597 cases of typhoid were reported.
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