Assoc. Prof. Dharmatov Rahula B. Albano, PhD, Chair of the Department of Chemistry and researcher at the Research Center for Natural and Applied Sciences, was one of the invited guest speakers in the 2019 International Conference on Future Healthcare and Economic Development, held from November 8-11, 2019 at the National Cheng Kung University in Tainan, Taiwan.

In showing trends, Albano cited the Philippine Department of Health (DOH), which “declared a National Dengue Epidemic on 6 August 2019, owing to the 167,607 dengue cases, including 720 deaths, reported from 1 January to 27 July 2019: 97% higher than in 2018, in spite of a delayed rainy season.” While “case Fatality Rate (CFR) of 0.43% as of 27 July 2019 is lower than in the same time period in 2018 (0.54%), [it is] still significantly higher than the regional average of 0.22% in the Western Pacific.” According to Albano, dengue is endemic in the Philippines with seasonal peaks between July and September each year following the rains. Of all laboratory confirmed dengue cases, the majority are dengue virus serotype (DENV) 3 (72%). Dengue is a worldwide concern, and it exists not only in the sub-tropical countries but also in the Northern America, Europe, Africa, Australia and as far as Russia due to the mobility of people around the world.”

Albano contended that “early detection, along with proper medical care, contributes significantly to lowering the risk of medical complications that may lead to death. Prompt delivery of supportive treatment, which must naturally follow from the detection, minimizes mortality rates to even below 1%. In addition, timely and accurate diagnosis is essential to surveillance activities on the circulation of dengue viruses among different populations, outbreak control, dengue pathogenesis, academic research, vaccine development and relevant clinical trials.”