Press Release
April 19, 2010


In the wake of the alarming increase of dengue cases in many parts of the country, Senator Ramon Bong Revilla today urged government agencies to launch an intensified campaign to prevent a nationwide outbreak of the mosquito-borne virus.

According to Bong Revilla, the government should create an inter-agency group to combat the breeding of the Aedes Aegypti mosquito, the carrier of dengue. He said the inter-agency group should be composed of the Department of Health (DOH) as lead agency and the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) as member agencies."We need the close coordination of these departments to stop dengue carrier mosquitoes from multiplying. The DILG can help disseminate anti-dengue information down to the barangay level while the DPWH will conduct the cleaning of canals and drainage facilities especially in the already dengue-affected areas," he said.

The lawmaker cited figures gathered by the National Epidemiology Center (NEC) that says that there was a large increase in the number of dengue cases in the country from the period covering January 1 to March 27, 2010 compared to the same period last year. Its Disease Surveillance Report bared that from Jan. 1 to March 27, a total of 11,871 dengue cases, including 77 deaths, have been registered in various hospitals nationwide. This is 51.6 percent higher than the 7,832 cases recorded during the same period in 2009. "The figures are quite alarming. We must not wait for a full-blown dengue problem in the country," he pointed out.

The reelectionist senator also proposed the relaunching of the "4 o'clock habit", a government drive that urges residents to clean their surroundings and drain water containers every afternoon. "Aedes Aegypti mosquitoes, which are characterized by white stripes on their legs, are usually active early morning or late afternoon. Community action is important in battling these dengue carriers," he explained.

Based on the NEC data, most of the dengue cases during the first quarter of this year came from the National Capital Region, Central Visayas, Eastern Visayas, the CALABARZON ( Cavite , Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon), Zamboanga, and Western Visayas . Clustering of these cases has been observed in Caloocan City , Valenzuela City , La Union, Nueva Ecija, Rizal, Marinduque, Camarines Sur, Capiz, Iloilo , Negros Occidental, Cebu, Bohol, Negros Oriental, Leyte, Zamboanga del Sur, Bukidnon, Misamis Oriental, Davao del Sur, Davao Oriental, North Cotabato, South Cotabato , Surigao del Sur, and Surigao del Norte. The youngest dengue victim was one month old, and the oldest, 90 years old. Fifty-two percent of the victims were males.

The World Health Organization (WHO) said dengue is endemic in more than 100 countries in Africa, the Americas , the Eastern Mediterranean, South-east Asia and the Western Pacific. It infects up to 50 million people every year worldwide, mostly in Asia and Western Pacific.

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