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Philippines Declares Dengue Fever Outbreak National Epidemic

August 7, 2019

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Philippines has declared as a national epidemic the latest outbreak of Dengue fever in the country.

The situation has caused hundreds of deaths this year in the wake of a government ban on a vaccine developed by a French company to counter the ailment, The Guardianreports.

Between January and July this year, the country recorded 146,062 cases of Dengue, 98 per cent more than the same period in 2018, the country’s department of health said. 

The outbreak has already claimed the lives of 622 people, with the worst affected being children below the age of 10.

Dengue, a mosquito-borne viral infection found in tropical countries worldwide, can lead to haemorrhaging and organ failure in severe cases and there is no specific treatment for the illness.

As a preventive measure against the spread of Dengue, the department of health said that it was conducting a campaign to focus on finding and destroying mosquito breeding sites, while also issuing guidelines for people to wear insect repellent and clothes that cover the skin.

Other south-east Asian countries have also reported a surge in dengue cases this year, according to the World Health Organisation.