MANILA, Sept. 4 (Xinhua) -- Nearly 230,000 dengue cases were registered in the Philippines with over 950 deaths, a United Nations agency said on Wednesday.
The U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said in a report that from Jan. 1 to Aug. 17, the Department of Health (DOH) of the Philippines has recorded a total of 229,736 dengue cases with 958 deaths.
The agency said the DOH recorded 110,970 dengue cases and 582 deaths during the same period in 2018.
Children aged five to nine years were the most affected with a total of 52,207 while males accounted for more than half of the cases with 120,258, according to the DOH.
OCHA is the part of the U.N. Secretariat responsible for bringing together humanitarian actors to ensure a coherent response to emergencies.
On Aug. 6, the Philippines declared the country’s outbreak of dengue to be a national epidemic to improve the response to the outbreak by allowing local governments to draw on a special quick response fund.
Dengue is a mosquito-borne viral infection found in tropical countries worldwide. It can cause joint pain, nausea, vomiting and a rash, and can cause breathing problems, hemorrhaging and organ failure in severe cases.
Gawrie Galappaththy, a World Health Organization medical officer specializing in vector-borne parasitic diseases, told Xinhua in an interview on Monday that the number of dengue cases in the Philippines will continue to rise in the coming months as intermittent rain continues during the wet season.
Dengue mosquitos breed in stagnant water like water-filled containers and some plants like bananas and bromeliad. She said scarcity of water during the dry season and the intermittent rain during the rainy season have resulted in dengue cases outbreak.
There is no specific treatment for dengue, but early detection and access to proper medical care lowers fatality rates below 1 percent.