By NewsDesk  @infectiousdiseasenews

Health officials in the southern Philippines province of South Cotabato are warning residents that four strains or serotypes of dengue virus are circulating in the province.

Aedes aegypti/CDC

Dr. Alah Baby Vingno,  Integrated Provincial Health Office (IPHO) assistant chief said, “since all four strains are already here, there is a possibility that a person will be infected with dengue four times”.

The World Health Organization says dengue is caused by a virus of the Flaviviridae family and there are 4 distinct, but closely related, serotypes of the virus that cause dengue (DEN-1, DEN-2, DEN-3 and DEN-4). Recovery from infection by one provides lifelong immunity against that particular serotype. However, cross-immunity to the other serotypes after recovery is only partial and temporary. Subsequent infections (secondary infection) by other serotypes increase the risk of developing severe dengue.

As of July 22, 3,664, with 21 deaths have been reported in the province.

Koronadal City posted the most number of cases with 703, followed by Surallah (478); Tantangan (468), Banga (391), Tupi (347), Norala (307), Polomolok (276), Tampakan (219), Tboli (192), Sto. Niño (174), and Lake Sebu (109).