Wednesday 31 July 2013

Dengue fever

Honduras has declared a state of emergency following the deaths of 16 people in an outbreak of dengue fever. Altogether more than 12,000 people have been infected with the virus that is borne by mosquitoes.
The disease causes flu-like symptoms and occasionally develops into a potentially lethal form called haemorrhagic dengue. Honduras’s worst outbreak happened in 2010, when 83 people died.
Earlier this year, the authorities in Brazil reported a steep rise in cases of dengue, with more than 200,000 people infected compared with 70,000 in the same period of 2012, though the health minister said most cases were less severe.
The World Health Organisation says that across the world there are 30 times as many cases as there were 50 years ago, with up to 100 million infections a year in more than 100 countries.

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