Two leading medical organizations have rejected the use of vaccines to deal with the current outbreak of dengue and recommended instead of the Department of Health response of vector control and early consultation.
In a joint statement, the Philippine Pediatric Society and the Pediatric Infectious Disease Society of the Philippines supported the DOH “4S Against Dengue” strategy: Searching and destroying mosquito larvae sites in surroundings; Self-protection measures such as wearing protective clothing and applying mosquito repellant; Seeking early medical consultation upon observation of fever and rashes that persist for 48 hours; and Saying no to indiscriminate fogging, which should only be implemented during outbreaks.
Noting that dengue has no specific anti-viral treatment, early recognition and prompt access to medical care are essential to lowering the mortality rate from the disease, the doctors said.
While the organizations recognize vaccination as an integral component in the global strategy for dengue prevention and control, “it is not currently recommended as part of outbreak response,” PIDSP president Dr. Anna Lisa Ong-Lim said.
The vaccine “is for future protection for those who were diagnosed or have been known to have dengue or tested positive for dengue antibody,” added PPS president Dr. Salvacion Gatchalian. “With the availability of the vaccine, parents and patients will be informed of the benefits and risks, and an informed decision can be made,” she said.
The latest DOH data indicate 146,062 dengue cases recorded in the country from Jan.1 to July 20 this year, a 98 percent increase in cases compared to the same period in 2018. To date, a total of 622 deaths due to dengue has been reported.
The Army, meanwhile, is continuing to help victims of the disease in Iloilo City through its Dengue Mission Team.
Army spokesman Lt. Col. Ramon Zagala, in a statement Thursday, said the effort is being spearheaded by the Army General Hospital.
He said the Dengue Mission Team was deployed to Iloilo City Aug. 11 to augment the medical personnel of the 3rd Infantry Division, Municipal Health Center and other civilian nurses and doctors who were addressing the alarming increase in dengue cases.
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