The Department of Health clarified that there is no new mutant strain of mosquito-borne disease being monitored or reported in the country.
In a statement, DOH stressed out that there are only four strains of dengue virus in the Philippines.
DENV-1 causes pain behind the eyes while DENV-2 is associated with nose bleeding and blood-streaked vomiting. DENV-3 and DENV-4 cause the symptoms of fever, muscle pains, headaches, loss of appetite, vomiting, and diarrhea.
“The issue on the new strain of dengue virus circulated as a result of a misquoted DOH official. Neither the DOH official nor the secretary of health mentioned a new strain of dengue virus,” the DOH said.
Earlier, Dr. Ferchito Avelino, officer-in-charge of the DOH Epidemiology Bureau, was quoted saying that a different dengue strain might be the main cause of the surge in dengue cases.
Avelino was also quoted saying, “currently we are seeing a zero-type 3 strain circulating in the country” but we didn’t have that in the previous years.
“Among the four recorded dengue strains, DENV-3 is the predominant strain in the country this year,” the agency said.
However, Health Undersecretary Eric Domingo noted there are no official statements stating a new strain of dengue virus had caused the spike of the said disease.
The latest number of dengue cases which is now over 157,000 is the highest in the last five years, Domingo added.
The health department also assured the public of their continuous cooperation with local governments to somehow avoid the growing number of dengue patients in hospitals./ with reports from Bombo Dennis Jamito; edited by Bombo Sol Marquez.