Five people have died from dengue as health officials recorded an alarming increase of the virus’ cases in the first 12 days of the year.
Dr. Eric Tayag, chief of the National Epidemiology Center of the Department of Health (DOH), reported that dengue cases recorded at the San Lazaro Hospital in Manila has piled up to 380 from January 1 to January 12, a 211 percent increase compared to the same period last year.
The San Lazaro Hospital is the main medical facility that takes in dengue cases from all over Metro Manila.
Tayag said that of the 380 cases recorded from the hospital, five have already died.
The health official said the number could grow bigger as the DOH has yet to check other hospitals in Metro Manila.
“Nakakabahala rito ay maaga pa, marami nang lugar sa Metro Manila ay nakitaan ng pagtaas kumpara noong isang taon (What’s alarming is the increase of dengue cases as early as [this month] in Metro Manila areas compared to last year),” he said.
The official said that because of the alarming increase in dengue cases, the DOH has decided to launch its anti-dengue drive this month.
Based on records from the hospital, 96 cases of dengue have been recorded in Manila, 51 in Caloocan City, and 29 in Quezon City. DOH said the numbers are higher compared to last year.
Tayag said that as early as this month, hospitals in Metro Manila may put up express lanes in anticipation of dengue victims to pour into medical facilities this month.
Tayag said the increase in dengue cases in Metro Manila can be attributed to the abnormal weather condition in the country. He mentioned that dengue-carrying mosquitoes could have been spreading because of the rainshowers in the past few days.
The health official reminded parents to immediately bring their children to hospitals for checkup once they catch fever or shows early signs of dengue.
The disease is manifested by a sudden onset of fever with flu-like symptoms of muscle and joint pains and severe headache. The patient’s skin also develops bright red rashes, which initially appears on lower limbs and chest.