Dengue cases in the Philippines in the first quarter of 2023 were almost double the figures in the first quarter of 2022, with NCR posting the highest number of cases.
Now that the rainy season is here, dengue cases in the Philippines are expected to increase, especially after heavy rains and flooding. As of September 9, 2023, the Department of Health has recorded 125,975 dengue cases nationwide.
Make sure you're equipped with knowledge about preventing this disease and detecting its signs and symptoms—dengue is life-threatening and costly to treat. Depending on the severity, dengue treatment costs in the Philippines can reach thousands of pesos.
Dengue Treatment Cost in the Philippines
The viral disease inflicts pain and suffering on an affected person and may drain a family's savings if not treated early.
For instance, an individual incurred a hospital bill of close to ₱60,000 for a four-day confinement due to dengue, which included laboratory fees, medicines, room charges, and professional fees.
💸 How Much is a Dengue Test in the Philippines?
Dengue test kits range from ₱300 to ₱700 at drug stores, depending on the brand. The dengue rapid test price starts at ₱680 in public hospitals and ₱800 in private hospitals and diagnostic laboratories. Meanwhile, a dengue duo test price in the Philippines costs around ₱2,300.
As for the hospital bill for dengue, it can balloon to six-digit figures in severe cases.
The cost of dengue treatment can wreck one's budget, so if you have a life or health insurance policy, ask your provider if dengue is covered. If you’re not insured yet, stay one step ahead of dengue or any other disease and get insurance for you and your family.
💸 Is Dengue Covered by PhilHealth?
Yes, PhilHealth covers dengue-related hospitalizations, with or without warning signs, for up to ₱16,000 for severe cases.
PhilHealth Coverage for Dengue
- Dengue patients with or without warning signs (Level 1-3 hospitals): ₱10,000
- Non-severe dengue patients (primary care facilities): ₱7,000
- Severe dengue patients (Level 1-3 hospitals): ₱16,000
The PhilHealth package for dengue may not fully cover the treatment and hospitalization costs. But the benefits can help ease the patient's financial burden.
Under the Universal Healthcare Law, every Filipino can avail of PhilHealth benefits. You can access the PhilHealth portal to check your eligibility and coverage. Hospitals also keep updated records through the PhilHealth portal for a more streamlined process.
Non-PhilHealth members may avail of benefits instantly through PhilHealth's Point of Service program. If you're assessed to be financially incapable, the government will shoulder your one-year premium at the time of availment.
To avail of dengue coverage, a PhilHealth member must also meet these conditions:
- Active membership/with qualifying contributions or enrolled as a qualified dependent
- Has not used up the 45-day regular benefit limit
- Admitted to a PhilHealth-accredited facility for at least 24 hours
- Attended to by a PhilHealth-accredited doctor
Those unable to avail of their PhilHealth benefits have 60 days from hospital discharge to submit their PhilHealth claims with official receipts, statements of account, and other necessary documents.
💸 Do HMOs Cover Dengue?
Yes, you can use your HMO for doctor consultations and blood tests on top of your PhilHealth membership. Depending on your benefit limit or coverage, it can also cover hospital confinement.
Specialized Dengue Health Plans
There are specialized health plans for dengue offered by HMOs and insurance companies in the country at affordable prices.
For example, PhilCare Dengue Assist costs ₱599 and gives up to ₱30,000 coverage for hospitalization due to dengue. It includes room and board, doctor's fees, laboratory and diagnostic procedures, medications, and dengue vaccine administration.
InLife Dengue Flex covers all dengue-related costs, including laboratory and diagnostic procedures, outpatient and inpatient emergency care, and medicines for up to ₱50,000 and is accepted in over 500 hospitals. It costs only ₱500 and is valid for 12 months or until used.
Moreover, you can purchase additional coverage for dengue if you have an active insurance plan. For example, Pru Life UK offers protection against dengue with its PRUDengue MedCare and PRUDengue MedCare Pro plans, starting at ₱200.
Consider getting any of these plans for added protection against expensive dengue treatment costs in the Philippines.
Dengue Prevention Tips
The most effective dengue prevention tip is to observe the DOH’s 4S strategy:
✔️ Search and Destroy Mosquito Breeding Places
It’s essential to know how dengue fever is transmitted so you can prevent it. People can get dengue through a bite of Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes, which carry the dengue virus. The most crucial dengue prevention method is to eliminate the breeding sites of these mosquitoes.
Dengue-infected mosquitoes lay eggs in containers and spaces that hold clear and stagnant water. So search inside and outside your house for anything that collects stagnant water, such as the following:
- Flower vases
- Empty tin cans and bottles
- Old rubber tires
- Rain barrels
- Rain gutter
- Trash can
- Unused buckets
- Pet water bowls
- Water containers
- The area under the aircon vents
- Dish dryer
The DOH also warns about dengue even during the hot and dry months—the inadequate water supply can cause people to store water in containers without covers.
Clean these containers out. Replace the water in flower vases and cover water storage containers when unused. Keep your home well-lit, too, as mosquitoes stay in dark areas.
✔️ Self-Protection Measures
Although dengue affects all age groups, five to nine-year-old children are the most vulnerable, based on DOH data.
Protect kids against dengue virus-carrying mosquitoes by making them wear long-sleeved clothing and long pants or pajamas to reduce exposed skin. Also, use insect repellents regularly and mosquito nets at bedtime.
Mosquitoes that transmit dengue bite two hours after sunrise and several hours before sunset. Limit the children's time spent outside your home around those hours of the day.
If you don't have them yet, install insect meshes on doors and windows to prevent the entry of mosquitoes while still permitting airflow into your home.
✔️ Seek Early Consultation
If you know the warning signs of dengue, you can see the doctor immediately and ensure a proper diagnosis to avoid serious complications.
Dengue Signs and Symptoms
Is it possible to have dengue without fever? Yes. Most people who get dengue won’t have symptoms.
But for those that do, dengue manifests flu-like symptoms that typically last for two to seven days. According to the DOH and the World Health Organization (WHO), dengue symptoms include a sudden high fever (40°Celsius) together with two of the following:
- Severe headache
- Pain behind the eyes
- Joint and muscle pains
- Body weakness
- Loss of appetite
- Skin rashes
Complications of Dengue
If left untreated, dengue can develop into a severe form called dengue hemorrhagic fever. It could lead to life-threatening complications that include the following:
- Bleeding nose and gums
- Persistent vomiting and blood in vomit
- Severe abdominal pain
- Organ damage (heart, lungs, kidneys, or liver)
✔️ Say Yes to Spraying/Fogging
Mosquito fogging is conducted in hotspot areas in the early mornings or late afternoons to prevent an impending dengue outbreak. There’s no need to worry because the chemicals used in dengue control don't harm humans, according to the WHO.
Learn more about the 4S strategy in this video:
Dengue Recovery Tips
After your dengue treatment, it’s crucial to get your health back in shape. Experts recommend these tips to help dengue patients speed up their recovery:
- Drink lots of water to prevent dehydration.
- Take plenty of rest.
- Avoid anti-inflammatory medicines (e.g., Ibuprofen, Aspirin, Naproxen, etc.) that may raise the risk of bleeding complications.
- Take paracetamol to reduce fever and relieve pain.
- Visit the hospital for evaluation if no improvement is felt 24 hours after the fever goes down.
Dengue is an endemic disease in the Philippines, but it is preventable. To avoid dealing with dengue treatment costs in the Philippines and seeing a family member suffering (or experiencing it yourself), get rid of dengue-carrying mosquitoes. Watch out for the early warning signs so you won’t have to worry about getting sick and paying costly medicines and hospital bills.
If you do end up having to deal with costly bills and need a little need help, use these credit cards:
HSBC Red Mastercard
HSBC Platinum Visa Rebate
BPI Amore Cashback Card
RCBC Flex Visa
AUB Gold Mastercard
-  Dengue also common during dry season – DOH (The Philippine Star, 2023)
-  Dengue cases up in 6 regions (The Philippine Star, 2023)
-  Oplan Mortein explains the real cost of dengue (Inquirer.net, 2022)
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