MANILA, June 15 (Xinhua) -- The dengue cases recorded in the first five months this year in the Philippines declined by 46 percent compared to the cases recorded in the same period in 2019, the Department of Health (DOH) said on Monday.
The DOH said that it has so far recorded 50,169 cases from Jan. 1 to May 30, 2020, while the dengue cases recorded during the same period reached 92,808.
A total of 173 deaths have so far recorded during the first five months this year, as compared to the 452 recorded deaths in 2019, the DOH added.
Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said in a virtual media briefing that the decline in dengue cases during the first five months of this year is possibly due to the "increased awareness" brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic situation.
Napoleon Arevalo, director of the DOH's Disease Prevention and Control Bureau, urged Filipinos to clean up the surrounding while the country is still under the coronavirus lockdown.
"The general community quarantine is an opportunity for the family to clean the whole house," Arevalo, a doctor, said in the same briefing.
Arevalo also stressed the need to use mosquito repellent and to seek medical help if they develop dengue symptoms such as diarrhea, fever, body pains, vomiting and bleeding of the gums.
The DOH reported a total of 402,694 dengue cases from Jan. 1 to Nov. 16, 2019, or a 92 percent increase from the same period in 2018. The number of deaths also increased to 1,705 from 1,502 over the same period, the DOH said.
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.
Dengue mosquitos breed in stagnant water like water-filled containers and some plants like bananas and bromeliad. The scarcity of water during the dry season and the intermittent rain that followed 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. Enditem