WATCH: Health chief fears dengue cases may reach 200,000 this year

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 19) — Health Secretary Francisco Duque said he fears that, based on recent patterns, the number of dengue cases this year could reach 200,000, on account of a spike in these cases recorded every three or four years.

The Health department has declared a “national dengue alert” for the first time following an 85 percent increase in dengue cases in the first half of the year. Up until June 29, 106,630 cases have been recorded.

But there is no nationwide epidemic. Sharp increases in dengue cases have been seen only in a few areas although the Health department has chosen to call a "national alert" to keep local authorities and residents on their toes.

Regions with the most number of dengue cases recorded are Western Visayas, CALABARZON, Central Visayas, Soccskargen, and Northern Mindanao.

Health officials are also monitoring the situation in Ilocos, Cagayan Valley, CALABARZON, Bicol, Eastern Visayas, Zamboanga Peninsula, Davao, Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, and Cordillera Administrative Region.

Zamboanga Sibugay has also declared a state of calamity due to a dengue outbreak in the province.

“We should all be alarmed. That is the objective of having declared a national dengue alert status is precisely to raise public awareness of this threat happening at the time of an expected dengue spike,” Duque told CNN Philippines’ The Source.

Watch the Health chief’s full interview above and learn how to prevent getting infected with dengue.