Philippines declares dengue epidemic as deaths rise

Dengue has been declared a national epidemic in the Philippines after deaths surged to over 600.

    2019/08/08

NSFW    PHILIPPINES — The Philippines' dengue virus outbreak has just reached epidemic proportions.

According to the Philippine News Agency, health authorities declared a national dengue epidemic on Tuesday, after more than 100,000 cases from January to July this year, and 622 deaths.

The country's Health Secretary Francisco Duque said the declaration will allow local government units in badly hit places to access quick response funds to help fight the outbreak.

Government agencies will also be carrying out a campaign to destroy mosquito breeding sites.

According to the Guardian, the mosquito-borne viral infection is found in tropical countries, and can cause joint pain, high fevers, and a rash, among other symptoms.

Nature reports that in severe cases, it can cause plasma to leak out of the capillaries, leading to breathing problems, hemorrhagic fever, and organ failure.

Dengue has no specific treatment, but according to The Guardian, medical care is necessary as it is critical to maintain a person's fluid levels.

An existing vaccine called Dengvaxia has been banned in the Philippines after several dozen children died during a government immunization campaign in 2017.

The U.S. FDA approved the Dengvaxia vaccine this year, with several restrictions. The New York Times reports that other vaccines are currently being developed.
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