The Department of Health (DOH) has recorded a total of 57 confirmed cases of Japanese encephalitis in the country since January.
A 24 Oras report by Lei Alviz on Saturday said the Regional Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) is conducting tests if the viral infection was the cause of death of 20-year-old engineering student Danica Rose Salangad in San Fernando, Pampanga.
The RITM said last week that it had recorded 32 confirmed cases in Pampanga alone.
Nearly 260 suspected cases have been recorded in the province since July.
Fever is one among the symptoms of the viral infection, but there are cases that there are no signs at all.
"Kasi isang uri kasi ng virus 'yon na inaatake 'yung utak, namamaga. So ang sintomas non lagnat, kombulsyon, pananakit ng ulo tapos may kapuna-punang movement ng extremities. Parang winawagayway 'to na hinahampas sa dingding," said DOH Spokesperson Eric Tayag.
"Pagka minsan tiningnan mo ang mukha ng pasyente para siyang maskara, ibig sabihin walang emosyon, nakadilat lang sayo parang walang pananaw. 'Yung iba naman kala mo may pilay, may polio," he added.
Japanese encephalitis is a mosquito-borne viral infection which is common in agricultural areas.
"'Yung lamok na 'to sa gabi nangangagat di katulad nung lamok sa denge. Pangkaraniwang nakukuha ng lamok 'to sa mga hayop katulad ng baboy. Aksidente lang nalilipat sa atin kung saan maraming palayan, sa rice fields," Tayag explained.
The DOH said vaccines for Japanese encephalitis will be available in the country by next year. —Anna Felicia Bajo/ALG, GMA News