Philippines dengue fever toll 724

2010-11-18 14:55

Manila - The death toll from dengue fever in the Philippines has reached 724 since the start of the year, the Department of Health said on Thursday.

The deaths, recorded from January 1 to October 30, were up nearly 50% from 485 fatalities in the same period last year.

The health department also recorded a total of 119 789 cases of dengue infections, an increase of more than 140% from 49 319 a year ago.

Dr Lyndon Leesuy, manager of the department's National Dengue Control Programme, urged local officials to step up efforts to inform residents in their communities about how to avoid getting dengue.

"We cannot go to your houses to eliminate the breeding sites of mosquitoes or to cover your water containers where mosquitoes can breed," he said. "We need the support of those in communities."

Dengue is an infectious tropical fever causing acute pain in the joints. Symptoms include loss of appetite, general weakness, nausea and vomiting.