HEALTH OFFICIALS issued a national dengue alert after cases of the viral disease transmitted by mosquitoes peaked to more than 100,000 as of June, a record since 2016.

“A national dengue alert is in place, which is due to the rapidly increasing number of cases in some regions,” Health Secretary Francisco T. Duque III said at a briefing yesterday.

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 at the same briefing.

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.

Health officials asked the public to practice prevention by destroying mosquito breeding sites, wearing long pants and long-sleeved shirts and using a mosquito repellent. Victims should seek a cure as soon as the symptoms occur to prevent death. — Gillian M. Cortez