Updates on Facts about Dengue in the Philippines
How dengue viruses are transmittedClick thumbnail to view full-size
Cause, effect and signs of dengueClick thumbnail to view full-size
Situational analysis of dengue in the Philippines
Here in the Philippines, dengue is regarded as a major public health problem. In 2013, the country reported 187,031 dengue cases and 591 deaths.
Tayag explained that dengue exacts its greatest toll among young children, those with underlying health issues or those do not seek proper medical treatment. Financially, the country lost an estimated P367 billion due to illness resulting from dengue (average cost of diagnosis per patient is P5,050 while average therapeutic management for dengue is about P4,387).
The above is excerpted from an article 'World’s first dengue vaccine shows promising trial results' by Charles E Buban, Philippine Daily Inquirer, Sat., May 3, 2014.
Statistics indicate that DENGUE today is on the rise globally. It simply means many people are getting sick with dengue, many people are bitten by the dengue-virus carrying mosquitoes and not a few lives are lost as a result. This woeful statistics likewise points to the fact that we earthlings are losing this battle versus the kind of mosquitoes called Aedes aegypti that carry the dengue virus. Let’s admit the sad fact that this increased incidence of dengue cases is of our own making. Many of us knew pretty well about dengue eradication but we don’t lift a finger to help solve the problem. We knew where mosquitoes thrive and breed but we don’t give a damn to rid them because we have our attention focus more on how to acquire more wealth, drugs, weapons for destruction and war and squander money in gambling dens;
The attention of world billionaires and other moneyed individuals are invited to help finance scientific researches to find and eliminate the very root of this malady. Where does dengue really originates? It’s a fact that a mosquito is nothing but a mere dengue virus carrier, granting all persons worldwide are dengue-free, meaning all human beings are thoroughly screened and verified to have zero dengue virus, then where will the mosquito bite to obtain the dengue virus? From the animals? This is the exact area where the scientists can focus their efforts- the total eradication of the disease at the source.
Curtail dengue virus
I repeat dengue must be curtailed at its source so that the mosquitoes will have no more dengue virus to carry with and spread. We maybe bitten by this mosquito just like any other ordinary mosquito by then but there will be no cause for alarm because it carries dengue virus no longer. Easier said than done. Indeed- it is, but it opens the subject to worthwhile discussion which will lead hopefully for its ultimate solution.
Dengue global statistics
Sad facts about dengue today as presented by the WHO:
- There is no treatment for dengue, but appropriate medical care frequently saves the lives of patients
- Global incidence of dengue has increased in recent decades.
- Dengue is found in tropical and sub-tropical climates worldwide.
- About two-fifth of the world's population are now at risk.
- Dengue is an infection caused by mosquito bites that triggers a severe flu-like illness, and sometimes lethal complication called dengue haemorrhagic fever.
- Dengue haemorrhagic fever is a leading cause of serious illness and death among children in some Asian countries.
- The only way to prevent dengue virus transmission is to combat the disease-carrying mosquitoes.
Reports of a growing higher number of dengue cases
Since early 2009, a higher number of dengue cases has been reported from:
- Africa: Cape Verde: more than 21,000 suspected cases and 6 deaths; 60 cases were reported in Senegal;
- Indian Ocean islands off the coast of Africa: Mayotte has reported 30 confirmed cases Reunion has identified 2 cases of dengue;
- South Pacific: Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, and Vietnam are among the countries reporting dengue activity this year. Few dengue activity has been reported this year in northern Queensland, Australia.
- Central and South America and the Caribbean: Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Honduras, Peru, and Puerto Rico.
- Middle East Jeddah in Saudi Arabia
How dengue is transmitted
Dengue viruses are transmitted to humans through the bites of infective female Aedes mosquitoes. Mosquitoes generally acquire the virus while feeding on the blood of an infected person. After virus incubation for eight to 10 days, an infected mosquito is capable, during probing and blood feeding, of transmitting the virus for the rest of its life. Infected female mosquitoes may also transmit the virus to their offspring by transovarial (via the eggs) transmission, but the role of this in sustaining transmission of the virus to humans has not yet been defined.
Infected humans are the main carriers and multipliers of the virus, serving as a source of the virus for uninfected mosquitoes. The virus circulates in the blood of infected humans for two to seven days, at approximately the same time that they have a fever; Aedes mosquitoes may acquire the virus when they feed on an individual during this period. Some studies have shown that monkeys in some parts of the world play a similar role in transmission.
Cause, symptoms and treatment
This disease is caused by four similar viruses (DENV-1, -2, -3, and -4) and is spread through the bites of infected mosquitoes
Dengue haemorrhagic fever (DHF), a potentially lethal complication, was first recognized in the 1950s during dengue epidemics in the Philippines and Thailand. Today DHF affects most Asian countries
Symptoms: Fever, severe headache, pain behind the eyes, joint and muscle pain, rash, nausea/vomiting, hemorrhagic (bleeding) manifestations
Usually dengue fever causes a mild illness, but it can be severe and lead to dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF), which can be fatal if not treated. People who have had dengue fever before are more at risk of getting DHF.
No vaccine is available to prevent dengue, and there is no specific medicine to cure illness caused by dengue. Those who become ill with dengue fever can be given medicine to reduce fever, such as:
- acetaminophen, and may need oral rehydration or intravenous fluids and, in severe cases, treatment to support their blood pressure.
- Aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid), aspirin-containing drugs, and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (e.g., ibuprofen) should be avoided because of the possibility of bleeding.
- Early recognition and treatment of severe dengue (e.g., signs and symptoms consistent with impending blood pressure failure) can reduce the risk of death.
Prevention and control
- Cover properly earthenware jars, metal drums and concrete cisterns;
- Dispose properly discarded plastic food containers, used automobile tires;
- Destroy natural habitats such as tree holes, and leaves that gather to form "cups" and catch water;
- Practice proper solid waste disposal and improved water storage;
- Application of appropriate insecticides to larval habitats;
- Active monitoring and surveillance of the natural mosquito population should accompany control efforts to determine program effectiveness.
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