Dengue cases in W. Visayas up by 46%

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Iloilo City (CNN Philippines) — A 46 percent increase in dengue cases in Western Visayas was linked to the El Niño phenomenon, according to the Department of Health (DOH-6).

The said increase was recorded for the first three weeks of January 2016.

A report showed that the region recorded 492 dengue cases — including one death — from Jan. 1 to 23, this year compared to 265 cases in the same period last year.

Dr. Jessie Glen Alonsabe, regional epidemiologist, said the prolonged dry spell caused by El Niño might have caused dengue to spread despite the warm season. Mosquitoes are associated with the rainy season as they thrive in stagnant water.

Alonsabe said people store water in containers which serve as breeding places of mosquitoes. That is the reason why the disease spreads.

Negros Occidental posted the highest number of cases with 122. It was followed by Capiz with 100; Aklan, 99; Iloilo, 85; Iloilo City, 39; and Antique, 38.

Bacolod City and Guimaras recorded four and five cases, respectively.

Primarily transmitted by Aedes aegypti mosquito, dengue symptoms include severe joint pain, muscle pain, headache, fever, exhaustion, and rashes.