An update on the dengue situation in areas of Asia with heavy activity:
The island country has seen an extraordinary past 4 months with dengue fever. Since the start of the summer, Taiwan has reported 4,667 cases of the mosquito borne viral disease, with 88 percent (4,115) of them reported in the southern municipality of Tainan.
Focus Taiwan reported Friday that unless the number of cases comes down in September, Taiwan is on track to see the worst outbreak of the disease this year since records began in 2003, surpassing the current record of 15,942 cases, which was set last year.
At least 10 dengue-related deaths have been reported with several others under investigation.
One effort being undertaken to get the mosquito population under control is to breed the once endemic rice fish.
Researchers with the National Cheng Kung University (NCKU) and National Taiwan Ocean University (NTOU) have been breeding the fish that consume the larvae of mosquitoes in Gongliao District.
“Breeding the rice fish and introducing them to counties across the country with dengue outbreaks may help control the problem, NTOU professor of marine biology and environmental science Chen Yi-hsiung said.
The dengue fever outbreak in Malaysia continues to grow by several hundred daily. The current total cases now stands at 82,182, including 219 deaths.
Selangor state accounts for more than 45,000, or 54% of the country’s cases.
From the beginning of the year to August 8, 55,079 dengue cases were reported in the archipelago, up about 5,000, or 9%, from the same period in 2014, according to Department of Health (DOH) spokesman, Dr. Lyndon Lee Suy.
CALABARZON region on the island of Luzon has been hit the hardest, followed by Central Luzon region, the National Capital Region (NCR), Northern Mindanao and Cagayan Valley.
Lee Suy noted that although the cases “did not happen at the same place, at the same time,” the data showed that the scope of dengue cases has expanded.
Elsewhere in Asia, Singapore has reported 6,546 cases as of Friday and Vietnam’s southern region has reported 22,000 cases.
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