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Cruz Vermelha de Timor-Leste (CVTL), or the Red Cross is reporting a dengue fever outbreak in the capital city of Dili. In addition, other districts/municipalities also experienced higher rates of dengue infection since the beginning of year.

Image/UN map, public domain

The official data showed that a total of 532 new cases have been confirmed since the beginning of 2019, with 5 resulting in fatalities.

The highest number of dengue cases is in Dili municipality (382 cases), followed by Liquica (113), Viqueque (15 cases), Covalima (14 cases) and Baucau (12 cases). The rest cases are spread in other districts/municipalities.

The outbreak occurred after heavy rains during extended monsoon season, increasing the breeding grounds of the Aedes Aegypti mosquito as the main vector. CVTL estimates indicate a 50% increase in infection rates.

Dengue infects nearly 400 million people across more than 120 countries each year. Most survive with few or no symptoms, but more than two million annually develop what can be a dangerous dengue hemorrhagic fever, which kills more than 25,000 people each year.

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Dengue viruses are arboviruses (arthropod-borne virus) that are transmitted primarily to humans through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito.