In the first six months of 2019, around 100,000 dengue cases were reported in the Philippines, an increase of 85% over the same period last year.
Four regions in the country – Mimaropa, Western Visayas, Central Visayas and Northern Mindanao – have reported epidemics affecting more than 20 million people, or about 20% of the Philippine population.
Health officials are also monitoring the situation in nine other regions, including Davao, the home province of Philippine President Roderigo Duterte. CNN Philippines reported that dengue fever remains more "localized" than a national epidemic.
A mosquito-borne viral infection, dengue fever, causes flu-like symptoms, including pervasive headaches, muscle and joint pains, fever, and whole body rashes. Of the millions of people infected with dengue fever worldwide each year, an estimated 500,000 develop serious symptoms requiring hospitalization, and of these, approximately 12,500 people die, according to the World Health Organization.
While it is most prevalent in tropical and subtropical climates such as the Philippines, India, and Brazil, a recent study found that the global temperature increases caused by the climate crisis may cause mosquitoes that cause dengue and other diseases such as Chikungunya, Yellow Fever and Zika move north, affecting the southern United States, the interior of Australia and the coastal areas of China and Japan.
Dengue fever in the Philippines has historically increased every three to four years, and the sharp increase this year is in line with expectations of a rise in nationwide cases in 2016, said the country's Health Minister, Franciso Duque, in a statement with.
] This increase in dengue cases is due to the country having to contend with a nationwide measles outbreak. According to the authorities, more people have been killed this year than in 2018 and 2.6 million children are at risk.
The most effective methods of preventing dengue fever include finding and destroying mosquito breeding grounds, generous use of mosquito repellents, and seeking early consultation when the first signs and symptoms of disease strike appear.