Officials in the Philippines declared a national dengue epidemic on Tuesday, August 6, due to the unusually high number of cases over the last several months and outbreaks have been registered in 11 out of 17 regions. From January to August 17, 2019, a minimum of 229,736 cases were documented, up by 107 percent from 2018. The death toll reached 958 in mid-August, double the 2018 figure. The Western Visayas region is the most affected with 39,892 cases, including 179 deaths.
Government response to quell the high number of cases includes fumigation and overall public safety information bulletins to communicate dangers and methods of prevention to the general public.
Symptoms of dengue fever include fever, headache, muscle and joint pain, fatigue, nausea, and rashes. DHF is characterized by high fever, the enlargement of the liver, and hemorrhaging.
Individuals in the Philippines are advised to take measures to protect themselves from mosquito bites - e.g. by wearing covering clothing, using insect repellent, and sleeping under mosquito netting or in an air-conditioned room - and to eliminate possible mosquito breeding grounds (small pockets of fresh water, such as rainwater that has collected in cans, bottles, tires, flower pots, clogged gutters, etc.).
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