The Philippines on July 15 declared a national dengue alert in several regions of the Philippines due to the rapidly increasing number of cases in these areas. (Source: philstar.com)

Hanoi (VNA)
- The Philippines on July 15 declared a national dengue alert in several regions of the Philippines due to the rapidly increasing number of cases in these areas.

According to the Philippine Department of Health (DoH), from January 1 to June 29 this year, 106,630 dengue cases had been reported nationwide, an 85 percent increase from the 57,564 cases reported over the same period of last year, and at least 450 deaths were recorded.

The DOH said among regions which have exceeded the epidemic threshold are Mimaropa, Western Visayas, Central Visayas, and Northern Mindanao.

This is the first time that the Philippines has declared a national alert in order to raise public awareness, said Health Secretary Francisco Duque, adding that there is no national epidemic yet in the country as the dengue cases are so far confined to these four regions.

Duque said the DOH is closely monitoring other regions across the country.

In the Philippines, dengue cases have been observed to peak every three to four years.

The last peak occurred in 2016. Given this pattern, the DOH expects an increase in cases this year, Duque said.

Dengue is a viral disease with no known vaccine or specific antibiotics. Effective surveillance helps in reducing cases and deaths if areas with clustering of cases are identified early.

Signs and symptoms of the disease are severe headache, pain behind the eyes, severe joint and muscle pain, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, and skin rashes.-VNA