Philippines community recruits frogs in war against dengue fever

Residents hope 1,000 bull frogs will manage mosquito population amid dengue epidemic

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Residents of Old Balara release frogs (Barangay Matandang Balara - Action Forward Facebook page)

Residents of Old Balara release frogs (Barangay Matandang Balara - Action Forward Facebook page)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- A community in Metropolitan Manila has recruited an army of frogs in an effort to combat the dengue epidemic ravaging the archipelagic nation through natural means.

In the Quezon City village of Old Balara, community leader Allan Franza on Saturday (Aug. 24) led locals in releasing some 1,000 bull frogs into nearby waterways, Gulf News reported. Residents hope the amphibians will help mitigate the dengue threat by eating mosquitoes, including Aedes aegypti, the species that carries the virus.

Meanwhile, the southern Philippine city of Zamboanga City is implementing a similar pest control strategy. The regional director of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, Isidro Velayo Jr., has secured a shipment of about 5,000 fish to be distributed among the area's bodies of freshwater, where they will cut down on mosquito larvae, wrote Philippine News Agency.

The Philippines Department of Health declared a national dengue epidemic on Aug. 6 with cases up 98 percent from the same period last year. A total of 146,062 people across the nation were stricken with the illness between Jan. 1 and Aug. 3, resulting in 622 deaths, according to CNN.