Doctor at Philippine Children's Medical Center dies of severe dengue

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Children’s Medical Center (PCMC) said one of its doctors died on Wednesday, September 19, after contracting severe dengue.

PCMC confirmed the death of its fellow, who hailed from  Baguio and was to graduate from her program on Friday, September 21. 

In a statement on Thursday, September 20, PCMC said several doctors in the hospital also contracted dengue this month. 

“This month unfortunately, we had 5 doctors getting ill as well for dengue including the fellow we lost.... The rest have fully recovered. None received the dengue vaccine,” the hospital said.

The hospital said it had seen an "upsurge" in acute dengue cases since May 2018.

PCMC spokesperson Dr Sonia Gonzalez told Rappler the hospital has had an average of 100 dengue cases per month since June this year, as compared to the average 25 cases it observed previously. 

Gonzalez said the most number of cases was seen in August, when the hospital recorded 214 cases of dengue. There were also 92 cases of dengue recorded as of September 15. 

The dengue virus is transmitted through the bite of  the Aedes aegypti mosquito. While dengue is a threat throughout the year, the disease usually peaks during the rainy season

What’s the hospital doing about it? The hospital said it has taken protective measures against dengue since August, including intensifying its early reporting system for employees showing symptoms of dengue, and ensuring breeding grounds for mosquitos were destroyed in the hospital and surrounding areas.

Health Undersecretary Eric Domingo told Rappler the PCMC director held hospital-wide command conference on heightened measures to prevent the transmission of the disease. 

The PCMC said all employees were advised to seek early consultation upon any sign of dengue symptoms and to actively use insect repellant.

“Heightened awareness is key coupled with early and proactive clinical intervention as appropriate. Dengue is a serious disease thats needs to be controlled through concerted efforts of everyone,” the hospital said.

Dengue symptoms include high fever, joint and muscle pain, weakness, skin rashes, abdominal pain, and vomitting, among others. – Rappler.com

(Editor's Note: The original version of this report revealed the identity of the doctor who died, which Rappler had confirmed with a relative and the Philippine Children's Medical Center. We removed it upon the request of her husband.) 

Sofia Tomacruz

Sofia Tomacruz covers foreign affairs, the overseas Filipino workers, and elections. She also writes stories on the treatment of women and children. Follow her on Twitter @sofiatomacruz. Email her at sofia.tomacruz@rappler.com.

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