The dengue fever epidemic in Timor-Leste recently caught our eye at Outbreak News Today (HERE and HERE) as the number of cases reported early in 2022 have already beat annual totals for 2020 and 2021.
On Friday, the World Health Organization (WHO) published a Disease Outbreak News (DON) looking at this exact topic.
They write: Timor-Leste has reported a surge of dengue cases since late 2021, at unusually high levels compared to previous years. There were 1451 reported cases and 10 deaths (CFR 0.7%) in 2020 and 901 cases and 11 deaths (CFR 1.2%) in 2021.
According to a Timor-Leste Ministry of Health release today, the case tally for 2022 so far is 1589, including 26 deaths. The capital city of Dili has reported 1061 cases alone.
WHO reports dengue is endemic in Timor-Leste year-round, with peak transmission reported from December to April during the hottest months of the year. The ongoing monsoon season may increase mosquito density and the likelihood of further transmission of dengue in the next few months. In previous outbreaks between 2005 and 2012, two co-circulating serotypes, dengue virus 1 (DENV-1) and dengue virus 3 (DENV-3), were reported.
The Ministry of Health has undertaken several response activities including:
- Strengthening clinical management as the top priority. WHO supported the government to train health care workers in clinical management. A series of additional clinical management trainings will be conducted.
- Drafting the national dengue control guidelines with support from WHO, which includes the clinical management algorithm.
- Conducting a nationwide information, education and communication campaign to disseminate information about prevention and home care for dengue.
- WHO supported 60 public health inspectors to conduct vector control and source reduction activities in the community, including distributing larvicides, fumigating malathion (mosquito adulticide) in residential quarters and mobilizing communities and volunteers to clean up water containers and the environment.
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