The number of dengue fever cases and deaths have increase by more than 10,000 and 20, respectively, in Malaysia during the past month, according to new data published by the Malaysian news source, The Star today.
In early October, the last time we reported dengue numbers, the number of cases reported during the first 9 months of 2014 stood at 77,527 and 149 fatalities.
Now one month later the case count has reached 88,204 and 169 deaths had been reported as of Nov 6, compared with 30,770 cases and 62 deaths for the same period last year.
Dengue has got so bad in Malaysia that government officials are now jailing developers and contractors that are not keeping construction sites mosquito-free. “We will not compromise on repeat offenders and will jail those responsible,”Health deputy director-general Datuk Dr Lokman Hakim Sulaiman told reporters after the Dengue Coalition Council’s launch yesterday.
With all the attention on the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, the worldwide dengue epidemic hasn’t received nearly as much attention as it deserves.
Malaysia is not the only country recording high case counts. As of late October, China’s Guangdong province has reported more than 41,000 cases. There are nearly 1.1 million cases reported in the Americas with Brazil accounting for about half that total.
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates there may be 50–100 million dengue infections worldwide every year. However, new research from the University of Oxford and the Wellcome Trust, using cartographic approaches, estimate there to be 390 million dengue infections per year worldwide.
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