In 2015, Malaysia reported more than 120,000 dengue fever cases and some 320 deaths. Last year, the numbers dropped to just a hair above 100,000 and about 230 deaths. In both years, dengue was the number one rated infectious disease in the country.

Aedes aegypti/CDC
Aedes aegypti/CDC

As 2017 comes to a close, the numbers are yet lower than the previous year. Through Nov. 26, 78,703 dengue cases were reported, including 164 deaths with a month left in the year.

Despite the decline, dengue remains the number one infectious disease, according to Deputy Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Hilmi Yahaya.

As reported in the New Straits Times, Hilmi said:

In 2015, dengue topped the list of the top five infectious diseases with 120,836 cases.

This was followed by tuberculosis (24,220 cases); hand foot and mouth disease (HFMD – 22,578 cases); food poisoning (14,433 cases); and leptospirosis (8,291 cases).

He said that in 2016, dengue remained the number one infectious disease with 101,357 cases, HFMD (47,008); tuberculosis (25,739 ); food poisoning (17,480); and viral hepatitis with 6,646 cases.

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As of September this year, dengue cases stand at 71,641 cases, HFMD (26,030); tuberculosis (19,430); food poisoning (11,281); and measles (6,646).

The question was posed to Hilmi in the Dewan Rakyat in an inquiry concerning if the spread of the mosquito-borne viral disease was due to foreign workers in which he replied it was difficult to determine.

Related: Dengue vaccine gains approval in nearly a dozen countries

In the past 50 years, the incidence of dengue worldwide has increased 30-fold, largely as a consequence of the growth of cities and increased travel.

Dengue fever is an infectious disease carried by mosquitoes and caused by any of four relateddengue viruses. This disease used to be called “break-bone fever” because it sometimes causes severe joint and muscle pain that feels like bones are breaking.

People get the dengue virus from the bite of an infected Aedes mosquito. It is not contagious from person to person. For more infectious disease news and informationvisit and “like” the Infectious Disease News Facebook page

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There are three types of dengue fever in order of less severe to most: the typical uncomplicated dengue fever, dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHS) and dengue shock syndrome (DSS).

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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