Dengue Soars in Visayas

Dengue fever cases are up in many areas of the Philippines.  According to the Philippine Red Cross (PRC), the number of dengue cases in the Eastern Visayas is up a staggering 1,062.7%. The Eastern Visayas are also known as Region VIII in the Philippines.

region viii map, philippines
Eastern Visayas Region in the Philippines

I know that Tacloban has been hit very hard.  My girlfriend is from there originally and she heard from her family that dengue has been very bad there.  The Tacloban Department of Health city manager has been quoted as saying that the number of dengue cases has reached “epidemic proportions.” Also, the Philippine Red Cross mentions some special actions have been taken in Tacloban, For example  there is a call for more blood donations.  Treatment sometimes includes blood transfusions. I was considering a trip to Tacloban this month but I don’t think I’m going to go.

According to the PRC the Eastern Visayas, there has been 3,616 cases for about the first six months of this year per the PRC.  There were around 311 cases for the same period last year.

However, that number appears low.  The Philippine Department of Health (DOH) is reporting that through July 28th the number of dengue cases in the Eastern Visayas exceed 5000.  That adds another month but if both numbers are correct, there has been another 1600 cases in July.  I don’t think both numbers are correct.  I hope both numbers are not correct.  That would be massive increase in a short period of time.

Today, I am seeing a report that seven people have died from dengue in Bohol Province in just the last seven days.  In Bohol there have been 793 dengue cases since the beginning of the year.   Bohol is in Region VII.  Cebu City and Bogo City are also in the Central Visayas or Region VII.  According the PRC, dengue cases were up 26% for the first half of the year.

So careful with those mosquitoes.  Especially right now.  I’m confused as to why dengue would be so high in a region that has been so dry.   We’ve been in a drought at the same time of dengue cases are up throughout most of the country.  It is usually blamed on global warming.  I’ve not seen those claims lately but I’m sure I just missed it.

Officials in the Philippines are also quick to remind people to keep their areas clear to prevent water from accumulating in old tires, buckets and other discarded items.  Valid advice, especially in drought conditions.  Most of the time though, I don’t think that’s going to help that much.  When you live in a tropical rain forest, there’s going to be lots of water around.   Lots of that water is brackish though and I don’t think mosquitoes breed in brackish water.  They need fresh water.  I know that near the beach, I find there to be very few mosquitoes.

I hope I don’t become one of those that gets added to the dengue statistics.  Please be sure to share you’re experiences, especially if you are living in the Philippines

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Filed under: Living In The PhilippinesPhilippine Health

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