Press Release
September 12, 2006


Alarmed over the outbreak of dengue cases all over the country, particularly in the province of Rizal where there is rising incidents of the disease, Senate President Manny Villar is urging local government units (LGUs) to partner with the Department of Health (DoH) in creating a task force versus dengue.

"There is so much to preventive measures that need to be done, besides fogging which according to health authorities do not really curb dengue disease but is in fact a health hazard. Communities and public health agencies should work together in coming up with a long-term solution to the problem, not just a band-aid remedy," cites Villar, President of the Nacionalista Party.

Based on DOH's National Epidemiology Center (NEC) data, 13,468 dengue cases nationwide were recorded between January 9 and August 29 this year, there were 167 deaths. It cited that there is decline nationwide, but in a concentration of dengue outbreaks in certain areas like Morong, Rizal (with 79 cases from January to September 6), the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), Baguio and other areas in Metro Manila and Central Luzon.

Villar further cites, "Even those municipalities or barangays with minimal or no reported case of dengue should be vigilant and put in place preventive measures or better yet extend support and assistance to dengue-hit areas. In order to beat dengue, there should be a concerted effort from everybody." Considered as dengue hotspots in the country are Metro Manila with 4,232 dengue cases recorded from January to August, followed by Central Luzon with 1,898, Central Visayas with 1,752 and CAR with 922.

According to Villar, there is also a need to reassess the emergency response system of the government. He earlier filed Senate Bill 2316 or an act establishing an emergency preparedness plant to prevent and suppress the spread of emergency infectious diseases and other epidemics.

Dengue is an acute infectious viral disease usually affecting infants and young children. It is characterized by fever during the initial phase and other symptoms like headache, pain in the eye, joint pain, muscle pain and other pain, followed by signs of bleeding such as red tiny spots on the skin, nosebleeding and gumbleeding.

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