Some three thousand people in Rangoon have contracted dengue fever this year, and at least 18 have died from its effects.
“From early 2017 to 9 July 2017, 2,855 people have been diagnosed with dengue fever and 18 have died from the virus,” said Dr. Khin Nan Lone of the regional public health department in Rangoon.
“To increase public awareness about this deadly disease, we will organise a campaign alongside other governmental departments … especially in areas like South Dagon, Dala and Hlaing Tharyar,” he said, referring latterly to suburban areas of the former capital that have been heavily impacted by the virus.
Dengue fever is transmitted by the bite of an Aedes mosquito. The mosquito becomes infected when it bites a person with the dengue virus in their blood. It cannot be spread directly from one person to another.
Dengue affects some 390 million throughout the world every year. Rangoon and the surrounding delta region can be particularly vulnerable to infection as the low-lying swamps create ideal conditions for mosquitoes to breed. Rangoon has a population of around seven million people.
Symptoms of dengue can be similar to ‘flu, but develop quickly to include a high fever, headaches, joint pain, nausea and vomiting. If untreated, the symptoms may progress to massive bleeding, shock, and death.