Thursday, October 13, 2016

Viral Infections in the Philippines

This week, outbreaks were declared for chikungunya and dengue in the Leyte and Cebu provinces, respectively.  For chikungunya in Leyte (specifically Maasin City), over 540 cases have been reported in the last three months.  For dengue in Cebu, there has been a 140% increase this year compared to last year, with over 50 deaths resulting.  While outbreaks have been called for both (against local health officials’ recommendations), a formal “state of calamity” has been announced for Cebu regarding dengue as a way to remind the public of the dangers of the disease and work toward active prevention (Herriman).

Chikungunya and dengue are similar in that both viruses are transmitted by the same type of mosquito that carries Zika and yellow fever (of the Aedes genus) and neither disease has a valid treatment option.  Thus, the best way for the public to protect themselves is via preventative measures and since there are no vaccines for either of these diseases, the focus is on limiting mosquito bites.  The Department of Health in the Philippines recommends to follow the ‘four S’ commands:  “Search and destroy [mosquitoes], Seek early consultation [for symptoms], Self protection measures, and Say yes to fogging when there is an outbreak” (Salarda).


Herriman, Robert. "Philippines: Chikungunya in S. Leyte, Dengue Outbreak Declared in Cebu." Outbreak News Today. N.p., 12 Oct. 2016. Web. 13 Oct. 2016.
Salarda, Lottie. "DoH-8 Declares Chikungunya Outbreak in Maasin City, Southern Leyte." N.p., 12 Oct. 2016. Web. 13 Oct. 2016.

- Devon Zander

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