WHO concerned about dengue’s spread in Asia

Earlier this week, the WHO Regional Director for the Western Pacific warned that the number of dengue cases in Asia has increased steadily over the past 10 years and over 2.5 billion people are now at risk for the sometimes fatal mosquito-borne disease. WHO attributes some of the increased risk to higher temperatures due to climate change, rising populations and greater international travel. This year’s case number are dramatically higher than last years.

  • India is facing a 20 year high. Some athletes competing at the Commonwealth Games among the 4300 infected in Mumbai alone.
  • Malaysia has reported a 53-percent rise in dengue-related deaths this year and even considered releasing genetically modified mosquitoes with engineered shorter lifespans to reduce to mosquito population. Malaysia has criticised the WHO for not doing more to help.
  • Taiwan set
    a single week record for Dengue cases (111 cases reported) last week.
    The Taiwanese Department of Health Minister said “dengue fever as ‘t
    he biggest threat’ to Taiwanese among all infectious diseases”
  • Hong Kong has already had 65 cases this year with 4 of them acquired locally. Last year, all 43 cases were imported.
  • In September, China’s Guangdong province saw 11 cases of dengue in Dongguan, host to the Asian Games alter this year..
  • The Philippines have had 98,934 cases nationwide compared to only 42,075 last year.

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