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Dengue shock syndrome caused most of 14 deaths.

By Charina Clarisse Echaluce

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III on Thursday admitted that dengue shock syndrome was the cause of death of majority of the 14 Dengvaxia-vaccinated students.

He clarified though that it is still too early to link the findings to the dengue vaccine yet.

In a press conference at the Parang Elementary School in Marikina City, the school where the ceremonial dengue vaccination was held in April 2016, Duque said the clinical charts and records of the 14 child vaccinees clearly showed that most of them succumbed to dengue shock syndrome.

"Sa ngayon, PAO [Public Attorney's Office] muna ang nag-e-exhume ng katawan ng mga namatay ng mga pumanaw dahilan sa dengue shock syndrome.... (For now, only the PAO is exhuming the bodies of the individuals who died due to dengue shock syndrome)," he said.

Duque explained that the dengue shock syndrome is a Grade Four classification, according to the World Health Organization. "Number one, there is severe plasma leakage. This is the part of the blood that is first to come out of the blood vessels.

"This will be followed by severe massive bleeding. Then the brain will be affected and will eventually bleed. It also causes pneumonia, and water will collect in the lungs. There will be inflammation of heart.

"Sometimes, it also affects the liver, making it bloat and hemorrhage. The kidneys will also be affected and the person might not be able to urinate. Multiple organs will be affected and involved.

"Of course, if he does not ran out of blood, the patient with dengue shock syndrome eventually dies," Duque explained in Filipino.

On November 29, 2017, the Sanofi Pasteur announced a "new finding" on its vaccine Dengvaxia, which was used in the government's mass immunization program involving around 830,000 children.

"The analysis confirmed that Dengvaxia provides persistent protective benefit against dengue fever in those who had prior infection.... For those not previously infected by dengue virus, however, the analysis found that in the longer term, more cases of severe disease could occur following vaccination upon a subsequent dengue infection," Sanofi said in its first advisory.

The 14 children who died were included in the government's vaccination drive that began in April 2016 and was put on hold in December 2017.

Duque clarified that such deaths cannot still be linked to Dengvaxia yet.

"We cannot answer that right now because experts are still doing their investigation," he said.

Moreover, he maintained that the recently formed expert panel from the University of the Philippines-Philippine General Hospital (UP-PGH) are still analyzing the case records that were forwarded to it.

He noted that they have yet to find out the effects of the "co-morbidities" to the patients.

"It's just that I was not able to bring my list with me but I think majority of the 14 likely died from dengue shock syndrome. There were also some who had other illnesses aside from dengue shock syndrome, and we have to look into that, too," Duque said.

The findings were consistent--that they died from dengue shock syndrome.

"We know that already but there were other clinical charts that show co-morbidities. This means, there are other illnesses in play. We just want to make sure that these other illnesses are not the cause of their death...or, that these co-morbidities worsened their plight or hastened the deaths of the vaccinees," Duque concluded.


Health Secretary Francisco Duque III (photo by Ali Vicoy/ Manila Bulletin file photo)
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Title Annotation:National
Publication:Manila Bulletin
Date:Jan 11, 2018
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