The Philippines recorded 64,797 dengue cases from January 1 to June 25, 2022, a 90% increase compared to the cases reported during the same period last year, the Department of Health (DOH) said Monday.
Based on DOH’s National Dengue Data for the week, there were only 34,074 dengue cases recorded from January 1 to June 25, 2021.
The DOH said 274 people have died in the country this year due to dengue, posing a 0.4% case fatality rate.
Of these 274 deaths, 36 occurred in January, 32 in February, 39 in March, 46 in April, 63 in May, and 58 in June.
The DOH noted there were 21,115 dengue cases recorded from May 29 to June 25, 2022 alone
Of this number, 18% were logged in Central Luzon at 3,902. This was followed by Central Visayas with 2,316 cases (11%), and the National Capital Region with 1,997 cases (9%).
Cumulatively, most of the dengue cases or 15% were still reported in Central Luzon with 9,426 cases.
It is followed by Central Visayas with 7,741 (12%) and Zamboanga Peninsula with 5,684 cases (9%).
Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire on Friday said the increase of dengue cases in the country is already alarming as some individuals are now being admitted in hospitals.
The DOH earlier reminded the public to practice the 4S behaviors for the fight against dengue: Search and destroy breeding places; Secure self-protection; Seek early consultation; and Support fogging or spraying in hotspot areas, especially now during the rainy season.
Due to the rising dengue cases in the country, infectious disease expert Dr. Rontgene Solante on Monday said that it is time for the government to review again the data about the dengue vaccine Dengvaxia.
“Dito sa Pilipinas, where the dengue is really very high, tayo po 'yung walang ganitong klaseng preventive measures,” he said during a Laging Handa briefing, noting that Dengvaxia is licensed in countries like Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia.
“I think it's high time that, if in case the government should consider having the Dengvaxia, they should review the data, they should review the benefit of this vaccine which is prevention of hospitalization and prevention of severe dengue,” he added.
Solante, who is also the vice president of the Philippine College of Physicians, underscored the importance of the right indication of which age group and at what circumstance should the dengue vaccine be administered so as to not cause hesitations among the public.
“The vaccine is still suspended. The suspension should be lifted before we can use it. Now, kung puwede na natin gamitin, there should be guidelines on kailan natin siya gamitin, at sinong population na puwede nating gamitin,” he said.
(If we could use it, there should be guidelines on when we can use it and which population should receive it.)
It could be recalled that the Dengvaxia controversy arose in November 2017 when manufacturer Sanofi Pasteur announced that the vaccine may lead to “more severe” symptoms for those who have never been infected by dengue prior to vaccination.
As a result, the Philippine Food and Drug Administration ordered the suspension of the sale, distribution, and marketing of Dengvaxia vaccine and the withdrawal of the product in the market.
The government's dengue immunization program, which by then had reached more than 800,000 schoolchildren, was also suspended shortly after the Sanofi disclosure. —KG, GMA News