With the addition of nearly 300 dengue fever cases, the number of cases in Malaysia is nearly 26,000 in the first two months of 2016. This is slightly higher than the 23,966 cases through February last year.

Aedes mosquito
Aedes aegypti image/CDC

The total number of deaths for 2016 is now 51, compared to a total of 54 deaths during the same reporting period in 2015.

In an effort to help get the outbreak under control, researchers at Malaysia’s University of Malaya (UM) have developed an outdoor lighting system consisting of an LED street lamp that produces low levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) to trap potential dengue-carrying mosquitoes, according to an Asian Correspondent report.

Associate professor Dr. Chong Wen Tong said, “The lamp emits small amounts of CO2, produced by combining ultraviolet light with titanium dioxide, which attracts mosquitoes,” he said.

Chong explained that mosquitoes would enter the trap through the capture windows on the upper part of the lamp, and are then sucked into the capture net in the lower part by a suction fan. Once they are sucked into the capture net, they are unable to fly away.

In 2015, Malaysia reported in excess of 120,000 dengue fever cases and 322 fatalities.

Malaysia’s neighbors to the north in Thailand have seen a doubling in dengue cases during the first two months of the year. According to Health Ministry permanent secretary Sophon Mekthon, 8,651 people were confirmed infected with the virus in the first two months of this year, up from 4,263 cases in the same period last year. There has been one fatality.

Bangkok alone has reported 2,233 cases with most cases being in children.