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Thirty-seven persons in Burma have died of dengue fever so far this year, according to the Ministry of Health, which warned that the rate of infection in the first half of 2015 is double that of the same period last year.
Speaking at a coordination meeting on the prevention of dengue haemorrhagic fever (DHF) in Naypyidaw on Friday, Minister of Health Dr Than Aung said that as of 17 June, 8,475 cases of the disease have been reported in Burma this year.
According to the ministry, the administrative regions with the highest infection rates across the country are Rangoon and Mandalay divisions, and Mon State. People living in these areas were advised by the ministry to remain vigilant.
As the majority of DHF infections have been reported among schoolchildren, health officials advised prioritising preventive measures, such as removing potential mosquito habitats around schools.
Dengue is transmitted by several species of mosquito within the genus Aedes. As there is no commercially available vaccine, prevention is sought by reducing the habitat and the number of mosquitoes and limiting exposure to bites.
DHF is nowadays more common in Southeast Asia and India than in Africa, where it originated. The most dangerous period for contracting dengue is during the rainy season and monsoon season, which in most of Burma runs from June to September.