Magazine article Geographical

Urbanisation Blamed for Dengue Fever Outbreaks in Southeast Asia

Magazine article Geographical

Urbanisation Blamed for Dengue Fever Outbreaks in Southeast Asia

Article excerpt

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Cases of dengue fever have hit a ten-year high in parts of Southeast Asia, with experts citing urbanisation as a major factor behind the rising infection rates.

in Malaysia, there was a 50 per cent rise in cases in the first seven months of 2007, compared to the same period last year. More than 1,000 patients were admitted to hospital every week during July, and 56 people died of the fever in June. In Cambodia, the disease has been diagnosed in 25,000 people and has killed nearly 300 children this year--around three times the deaths in 2005, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

And in Indonesia, officials have reported more than 100,000 infections so far this year, including 1,100 deaths, compared to 114,000 cases and the same number of deaths for all of 2006. Nyoman Kandun, a senior health ministry official, predicted that the infection rate would hit 200,000 by 2008.

All four types of dengue fever are spread by Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, which thrive in rivers, lakes and swimming pools, as well as in plastic bags or tin cans. …

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