Data showed that the following regions are under the epidemic threshold level: Calabarzon, Mimaropa, Bicol, Western Visayas, Eastern Visayas, Western Mindanao, Central Mindanao and the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.
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Dengue cases hit 188,000; 807 dead
Sheila Crisostomo (The Philippine Star) - August 20, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — As the number of dengue cases hit more than 188,000 this month, the Department of Health (DOH) has asked its regional directors to localize their approach to curbing the epidemic being experienced by the country.

Based on the latest Dengue Surveillance Report released by DOH, there are 188,562 dengue cases reported from Jan. 1 to Aug. 3.

This is more than double the 93,149 cases recorded during the same period last year.

Of the number, there have been 807 deaths, which is higher than the 497 during the same period in 2018.

DOH Undersecretaray Eric Domingo said regional directors must localize the areas affected by dengue so they can initiate a targeted approach to end the epidemic.

Domingo said that DOH regions should analyze if an area has “clustering, high attack rate and case fatality rate” so they can “strategize accordingly.”

Data showed that the following regions are under the epidemic threshold level: Calabarzon, Mimaropa, Bicol, Western Visayas, Eastern Visayas, Western Mindanao, Central Mindanao and the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

The National Capital Region (NCR) and Ilocos had been removed from the list of regions on alert level, but Caraga region made it to the list.

Domingo explained that the number of dengue cases in NCR and Ilocos region were below the alert level in the week covered by the report.

Data also showed the age group mostly affected by dengue are those from five to nine years old, with 43,047 cases or 23 percent.

Sanofi ‘heartbroken’

Amid renewed debates about the Dengvaxia vaccine, manufacturer Sanofi Pasteur has launched a program that will open a communication line with Filipinos, saying the situation in the Philippines breaks the company’s heart.

Sanofi Pasteur general manager Jean-Antoine Zinsou said those who have questions about health and vaccines can visit www.sanofi.ph/yourvoice where the company can respond directly to their concerns.

Zinsou noted that seeing the outbreaks of dengue across the country, they deemed it necessary to help people understand the “value of vaccines.”

“It breaks our hearts to see the situation and that is why we really want to get involved. We need to support the people of this country through different initiatives and one of them being starting with this session,” he added.

He assured Filipinos that the website is being handled by a trained medical team tasked to receive and address the questtions that may be sent through the website.

The website is not limited to topics about Dengvaxia alone but also other health concerns that the public may have.

Zinsou said they came up with the website as they observed several misunderstandings, misinformation and confusion surrounding Dengvaxia.

“We saw the direct impact was the drop in the vacination coverage and as a consquence we’ve seen measles outbreaks and lot of kids hosptialized, some kids dying from measles, a preventable disease,” he added.

Zinsou added the company’s mission is to make sure that “no one suffers from vaccine-preventable diseases” and they want to pursue this by partnering with health authorities in countries.

He also explained that the cancellation of their certificate of product registration by the Food and Drug Admistration was an issue of documentary requirements and not of safety and efficacy.

DENGUE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH SANOFI
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