The number of dengue fever in Vietnam increased dramatically in 2015, according to data from the Western Pacific Region of the World Health Organization.

Aedes aegypti/CDC
Aedes aegypti/CDC

Last year, 97,476 dengue cases were reported, more than triple the cases reported in 2014 when 31,848 were seen. The dengue-related death toll also tripled with 61 deaths this year, compared to 20 in 2014.

The number of dengue cases was higher than any year since 2010 (109,304). The years in between showed the following:  2013 (60,588), 2012 (79,485) and 2011 (64,532).

Neighboring countries Cambodia saw 15,412 cases of dengue, including 38 deaths and Laos reported 1,952 cases of dengue and no deaths.

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

Dengue fever of multiple types is found in most countries of the tropics and subtropics particularly during and after rainy season.

There are four types of dengue virus: DEN-1, DEN-2, DEN-3 and DEN-4.

People get the dengue virus from the bite of an infected Aedes mosquito. It is not contagious from person to person.

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).

Robert Herriman is a microbiologist and the Editor-in-Chief of Outbreak News Today and the Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch

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