Dengue fever numbers rising in the Philippines

According to health officials in the Philippines, the country has experienced more than 46,000 cases of mosquito-borne dengue in the last seven months.
Dr. Eric Tayag, the chief of the Department of Health's Epidemiology Center, said that between January 1 and August 6, the disease has claimed the lives of 267 people, most of them children, the Gulf Today reports.
Tayag added that 6,000 new patients have been reported in the last two weeks, with the provinces of Ilocos Sur and La Union in Northern Luzon declaring a state of calamity due to the large upsurge in cases.

The declaration will enable the provincial governments to use their calamity funds, equal to five percent of their annual budgets, to help patients and take countermeasures against the spread of dengue, according to the Gulf Today.
All government hospitals have been warned against turning down dengue patients seeking confinement. Tayag confirmed that many of the hospitals have reported a serious overcrowding problem.
Tayag told the Gulf Today that clinical testing for a dengue vaccine has been carried out in the Laguna province in Southern Luzon with further tests scheduled in the future. He said that the vaccine could fight four strains of the ailment and could be made available to the public in 2014. Until that vaccine arrives, however, communities are urged to clean their surroundings and cover or remove stagnant pools of water.