Materia Medica Malaysiana

April 24, 2007

Dengue fever strikes mainly in towns

Filed under: Uncategorized — malaysianmedicine @ 9:12 am

NST: KUALA LUMPUR: Research by the World Health Organisation has revealed that dengue haemorrhagic fever is found predominantly in urban and semi-urban areas.
It said that it was a misconception that dengue was a “low income” problem and only occurred in slum areas where there was a lot of stagnant dirty water.
The Division of Control of Tropical Diseases and Communicable Diseases of the WHO in Geneva said in a statement over 100 countries, with millions of people, were at risk of contracting the disease.
“Annually there are millions of infections and at times tens of thousands of deaths. Dengue has now become the most important mosquito-borne virus disease in the world. It affects young and old, rich and poor alike, especially those living in densely crowded urban areas throughout the tropics,” it said.
Research conducted in Singapore revealed that condominiums and high-rise apartments were also not spared and it was discovered that Aedes mosquitoes could fly as high as 60 metres (21 storeys high).
Another popular misconception that mosquitoes only breed in dirty water, has also been found to be untrue as Aedes mosquitoes have been known to breed in clean water, including stagnant water with a circumference of a 20 cent coin.
The studies have indicated that if the water dries up, the eggs deposited there can survive up to six months and all it takes is a new water source to activate them.
Statistics showed that in the first five weeks of this year there were 16 dengue related deaths compared to 264 dengue cases and 72 deaths, last year.
Aedes mosquitoes breed indoors and outdoors and regular fogging, including spraying insecticides inside the home, can help break the breeding cycle of Aedes mosquitoes.

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