THE DEATH toll from the dengue outbreak this year has reached 202 through July 13, the nation’s disaster management agency said yesterday.

The deaths were from five regions that reported 38,804 cases of the debilitating viral disease from mosquitoes, according to a report from the National Disaster Risk and Reduction Management Council.

Last Monday, the Health department issued a national dengue alert after cases of the disease peaked to more than 100,000 nationwide as of June, a record since 2016.

Dengue cases rose 85 percent from a year earlier to 106,630, according to the Health department. Regions with the most cases were Western Visayas with 13,164, Calabarzon with 11,474, Central Visayas (9,199), Soccsksargen (9,107) and Northern Mindanao (8,739).

The local peak in dengue cases reflects a global spike that happens every three years, Gundo Weiller, World Health Organization (WHO) Philippine representative, said earlier.

Science cannot explain the three-year spike that has been observed globally, Mr. Weiller said, adding that dengue, which causes fever and acute pains in the joints, has now erupted in places that have not seen the disease before.

Regions where dengue has become an epidemic are Mimaropa, Western and Central Visayas, and Northern Mindanao, according to the Health department. — Vince Angelo C. Ferreras