Sunday, November 9, 2014

Dengue's spread flies under the radar amid ebola scare

AFP: One of the most familiar sounds in Malaysia's capital is the approaching drone of a fumigation fogger spewing thick white plumes of insecticide, part of so-far futile efforts to arrest a spiralling dengue fever outbreak.

Malaysia is among several countries across Asia and Latin America grappling with a mosquito-borne virus that is proving tough to eradicate as it infects millions.

While the Ebola threat has captured headlines, the World Health Organization (WHO) warns that dengue -- while far less lethal -- has become one of the fastest-growing global health threats, contracted by 50-100 million people each year.

"The increase in dengue incidence and severity of the outbreaks is a global phenomenon, with a 30-fold increase over the past five decades," said Ahmed Jamsheed Mohamed, a doctor in the WHO's Southeast Asia office, adding that eradication is "not seen as feasible in the near future".

...While Ebola has killed nearly 5,000 people this year, mainly in west Africa, with an estimated 13,000 infections, dengue kills up to 20,000 annually, and 40 percent of the world's population live in dengue-risk areas....

Mosquito larvae, photo data unavailable 

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