Over 1000 people have died from dengue in the Philippines this year, a government official confirmed on Tuesday (Sept 10), reports Xinhua.
Enrique Domingo, the undersecretary of Philippine Department of Health (DOH), said in a text message to Xinhua that from Jan 1 to Aug 24 this year the death toll of dengue cases was 1,021, which was almost double the 622 deaths recorded in the same period in 2018.
Domingo said that nearly 40 percent of the 1,021 victims who died from the disease were children aged 5 years to 9 years old.
So far the Philippines authorities have recorded a total of 249,332 dengue cases, compared to 119,224 in the same period in 2018, according to Domingo.
Domingo added the authorities expects the death toll to rise in the coming months as intermittent rain continues until October or November this year.
On Aug 6, the Philippines declared the country's outbreak of dengue to be a national epidemic to improve the response to the outbreak by allowing local governments to draw on a special quick response fund.
Dengue is a mosquito-borne viral infection found in tropical countries worldwide. It can cause joint pain, nausea, vomiting and a rash, and can cause breathing problems, haemorrhaging and organ failure in severe cases.
There is no specific treatment for dengue, but early detection and access to proper medical care lowers fatality rates below 1 percent.