Dengue infects over 59,000, kills 69 in Thailand

admin   •   September 20, 2018   •   7886

Accumulated wastewater, rubbish in Rim Bung Makkasan, Bangkok, Thailand | CCTV via REUTERS

Thailand has seen over 59,000 patients infected with dengue fever, 69 of whom died from the disease, according to the figures given by the country’s health department in September.

In Bangkok, the capital of Thailand, the latest number of dengue sufferers is 5,899 with five deaths. Two victims came from the slum of Rim Bung Makkasan, one of the most dengue-hit areas in the city.

The sanitary condition in Rim Bung Makkasan is so bad, with a large amount of rubbish piled up there, and smelly wastewater accumulated in low-lying areas, which provide a suitable environment for insects like mosquitoes to grow up in the rainy season, intensifying the epidemic situation here.

Most of the residents living in the shanties in Rim Bung Makkasan are migrant workers and their children and elder family members.

For Uraiphon, her son and grandson were both infected with dengue, and the disease claimed the life of her son days ago.

Uraiphon said there are about 200 people in the slum, some of whom suffered dengue, but now the situation is getting better.

“After my son died of dengue, no one more was diagnosed with the disease here,” said Uraiphon.

Now Bangkok’s disease control department has taken measures to hold back dengue from spreading by killing mosquitoes and eliminating accumulated water.

“The government dispatched workers like avenue leader and medical staffers to help us wipe out disease. The mosquitoes were reproduced from wastewater and rubbish. In recent days, the government is conducting us to work at the sanitary work. We cooperated with each other to make the environment better. We thank them very much,” said Somtawin, another resident in Rim Bung Makkasan

Dengue fever is a mosquito-borne contagious tropical disease caused by the dengue virus. After infected, the patients will have symptoms like fever, headache, and arthralgia. Now there has no efficient drug to fight against the disease.

In Thailand, the peak time of dengue breakout is the rainy season from July to September. The data from the Thai health department indicate that last year, 9,368 people in Bangkok were infected with Dengue, six of whom lost their lives. — Reuters

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Anti-Botcha: Mayor Isko orders intensified meat inspections in Manila

Robie de Guzman   •   August 22, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso on Thursday ordered the conduct of intensified inspection in public markets following the seizure of thousands of kilograms of “botcha” or spoiled meat in the capital city since July this year.

Report from the Manila Veterinary Inspection Board presented on Thursday showed that since July 1, around 2,689 kilograms of spoiled beef shanks, pork and chicken meat were seized by authorities from different areas in Manila.

Hot meat are food items that did not pass proper inspection and are deemed unsafe for consumption.  

Mayor Isko also ordered concerned local agencies to set up checkpoints in the entry and exit points of Manila Harbor to prevent the entry of spoiled meat to the city.

He also urged the public to be cautious and observant when buying meat products.

Domagoso also called on meat vendors to join in the city government’s campaign against botcha and to make sure to only sold food products from accredited meat establishments. (RRD with details from Harlene Delgado)

Number of dengue cases in NCR exceeds alert threshold – DOH

Maris Federez   •   August 16, 2019

A child suffering from dengue fever receives medical treatment at an isolation ward of a government-run hospital in Manila, Philippines, 16 July 2019. (Photoville International)

The National Capital Region (NCR) has recorded more than 11,000 dengue cases from January to August 10 this year.

This is 33% higher than what was recorded in the past five years.

“It’s starting to rise and just like the other regions that began with the alert levels, naging epidemic level na sila [they’ve reached the epidemic level]. Pwede pa ring sumipa ang dengue. Kaya hindi ho tayo pwedeng magpahinay-hinay [Dengue case can still go up. That’s why we should not be complacent],” Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Francisco Duque said.

The cities in the NCR where dengue cases have spiked include Paranaque, Malabon, Taguig, Makati, and Mandaluyong.

The DOH clarified that no medicine, supplement, or vaccine had been proven to cure dengue.

The health department also supports the move of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) to fund the distribution of food supplements which may help increase an individual’s platelet count to avoid dengue.

“Wala namang gamot ang dengue. Wala ring bakuna. At kung meron man sila ng inaalay na makakagamot, hindi po totoo iyan. Ito po ay food suppmement lamang at kinakailangan merong FDA certificate of product registration [There is no medicine for dengue. No vaccine either. And if there are some who offer something that’s supposed to cure dengue, it’s not true. It’s just a food supplement and it needs to have FDA certificate of product registration],” Duque added.

The health official then reminded the public to clean their surroundings and eradicate dengue-mosquito breeding areas through the 4 o’clock habit using the 4S strategy:

  • Search and Destroy
  • Self- Protection
  • Seek Early Consultation
  • Support Space Spraying

This is to further prevent the number of dengue cases in Metro Manila to further exceed the health department’s alert threshold. (from the report of Aiko Miguel) /mbmf

Sanofi Pasteur optimistic Dengvaxia will be restored in PH market

Aileen Cerrudo   •   August 15, 2019

French Pharmaceutical firm, Sanofi Pasteur expressed optimism that the Dengvaxia vaccine will be restored in the Philippine market.

In a statement, Sanofi Pasteur Philippines General Manager Jean Antoine Zinsou said they are open for a discussion with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Department of Health (DOH).

He also clarified that Dengvaxia is safe and effective to use.

According to Zinsou, the said vaccine was only banned in the Philippines because of incomplete documents or due to “administrative consideration.”

“We definitely need to settle this issue. One way to do it is to discuss with FDA and see what is needed to have this revocation lifted,” he said.

Zinsou also said Dengvaxia is registered in 20 countries across the globe and is acknowledged by the United States Food Drug Administration and the World Health Organization (WHO).

Meanwhile, Sanofi agrees with the DOH that Dengvaxia is not a solution to the Dengue epidemic in the country.

READ: Dengvaxia won’t bring dengue cases down – DOH

“The vaccines that we are mentioning is not a solution or a silver bullet for the ongoing outbreak. We are open to any discussion with the health authorities to see what is needed, what do they need for the future,” Zinsou said.

In February this year, the FDA revoked the certificate of product registration of Dengvaxia.

Sanofi already filed an appeal two weeks ago and the DOH will release their decision on the issue on August 19.—AAC (with reports from Aiko Miguel)

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