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Global Health Emergencies

Posted by feww on July 31, 2013

State of emergency declared in Honduras as dengue fever death toll rises

Honduras government has declared a state of emergency after a dengue fever outbreak that has killed 16 people and infected more than 12,000 others, local media reported.

The mosquito-borne  disease has infected more than half of the municipalities in the country.

The Health Minister has declared a national priority to control mosquitoes.

It is very difficult to control or eliminate Ae. aegypti mosquitoes because they have adaptations to the environment that make them highly resilient, or with the ability to rapidly bounce back to initial numbers after disturbances resulting from natural phenomena (e.g., droughts) or human interventions (e.g., control measures). One such adaptation is the ability of the eggs to withstand desiccation (drying) and to survive without water for several months on the inner walls of containers. For example, if we were to eliminate all larvae, pupae, and adult Ae. aegypti at once from a site, its population could recover two weeks later as a result of egg hatching following rainfall or the addition of water to containers harboring eggs. [CDC]

Of the 12,135 reported cases, some 1,839 are suspected to be of the potentially fatal Dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF), which can lead to internal bleeding and shock -like state.

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Philippines

One new case of HIV/AIDS reported in the Philippines every 2 hours

One new case of HIV/AIDS infection has been reported every two hours in the Philippines so far this year, according to the Department of Health’s National Epidemiology Center (DOH-NEC).

Since 2007,  a steady increase in HIV cases has been recorded by the center. “In 2000, there was one case registered every three days; in 2011, this number grew to one case every three hours.”

In May 2013 some 415 new HIV cases were recorded, with 55 percent of cases being among people aged 20-29.

In June, 431 new HIV cases were registered, bringing the total number for the first half of this year to 2,323, the center said.

The June total was 46 percent higher than a year ago and the “highest number of cases reported in a month,” said DOH-NEC.

Since 1987, when HIV was first discovered in the Philippines, DOH-NEC has recorded 13,594 cases.

“Tip of the iceberg”

Many consider this official number is just the “tip of the iceberg” because less than 1 percent of the general population are tested for HIV, so officially registered cases are unlikely to accurately reflect the epidemic, said UN-OCHA.

“We project that the number of infected will reach 39,000-50,000 by 2015,” said the executive director of The Library Foundation Sexuality, Health and Rights Educators Collective, Inc., an NGO member of the Philippine National AIDS Council (PNAC), the country’s central advisory body on HIV/AIDS.

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