MANILA, 10 Sep. (DPA / EP) –
More than 1,000 people have died in the Philippines due to dengue fever during the first eight months of the year and 40 percent were children between five and nine years old, the Ministry of Health reported Tuesday.
The death toll from the disease has amounted to 1,021, almost double the 622 deaths in the same period last year. Between January and August, almost 250,000 cases of dengue were recorded, while the previous year in the same months there were about 120,000 cases.
In August, the country declared a national epidemic due to the rapid increase in the number of cases. Deputy Minister of Health, Eric Domingo, has said that the epidemic is not yet under control, although the rate of increase in the number of cases has since been reduced. “As long as it continues to be transmitted at the community level, we cannot say that it is under control,” said the vice minister. “We must be on guard against dengue until the end of the year,” he added.
He has also urged the population to continue with the task of eliminating possible breeding grounds for mosquitoes, which are the ones who transmit the disease. “We understand that you can be tired,” he said. “But the threat of dengue continues and efforts must be increased,” he added
The increase in dengue cases occurred two years after a massive vaccination campaign against the disease was canceled with the Dengvaxia vaccine, manufactured by the French company Sanofi Pasteur, claiming safety reasons.