A worker uses anti-mosquito fog to deter insects considered primary carriers of Dengue fever. Achmad Ibrahim/AP Images

Dengue fever outbreaks increase worldwide

Several countries around the world, including Bangladesh, Fuji and the United States, have seen a recent increase in the number of dengue fever cases. The Philippines and China have also been affected by dengue outbreaks.

The World Health Organization reported the dengue virus is spread by mosquitoes that have been infected. Symptoms such as fever, vomiting, headache, muscle and joint pains and skin rashes can begin anywhere from three to fourteen days after an individual is first exposed to the virus. Dengue outbreaks are most common in South Asian countries.

Bangladesh is one of the most affected countries of 2019, according to Al Jazeera. Heavy rains in the country often create pools of stagnant water which then act as breeding grounds for infected mosquitoes. Officials recorded 2,428 new patients were admitted to hospitals in a 24-hour period. WHO reported this year’s outbreak to be the worst in Bangladeshi history, with nearly 30,000 people affected by the virus.

Dhaka North City Corporation and Dhaka South City Corporation have both been accused of not properly regulating water runoff during construction, which then contributed to the increased number of dengue cases in Bangladesh—specifically the capital city of Dhaka—this year. DNCC and DSCC are reportedly working with officials to make changes in their regulation of water runoff in the future. 

“In Bangladesh, this year’s dengue outbreak is unprecedented,” DNCC Mayor Atiqul Islam told Al Jazeera. “But we have to understand there is no alternative but to raise awareness in destroying the breeding groups for mosquitoes to bring the dengue menace to an end. We all have to work together to end this.”

In the Philippines, 622 people died from dengue fever between Jan. 1 and Aug. 7, according to CNN. Approximately 146,000 dengue cases were reported by health officials as of July. The Philippines declared a national epidemic in order to allow government agencies to help assist areas at risk and provide medical treatment to those affected.

According to Filipino health official Francisco Duque, an average of 5,100 new cases are reported in the country each week. Emergency funding from The Philippines Department of Health is being used to deploy hundreds of doctors and nurses across the country to treat dengue patients.

The South China Morning Post reported more than 600 people have fallen ill since September throughout Eastern China. The Zhangshu Health Bureau reported there have been no serious cases or deaths yet. Officials are encouraging the public to eliminate all stagnant water where mosquitoes are likely to breed. 

Fuji’s Minister of Health and Medical Services Dr. Ifereimi Waqainabete reported the country had seen over 2,500 cases and one dengue-related death as of Sept. 2, 2019, according to FBC News. There are concerns the dengue outbreak will affect Fuji’s tourism-based economy.

Three cases of dengue fever have been reported in Florida, according to the state’s Department of Health. The three cases do not appear to be related, but the affected areas remain on alert as the disease could spread.