CHINA : Beijing: Battling the worst outbreak of dengue fever in 20 years which has affected thousands of people, China has launched a massive campaign to deal with the mosquito-borne disease.
The National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC) on Tuesday said that 13,965 dengue fever cases have been reported this year, with the mosquito population five times its normal level due to hot and wet weather in south China.
The Commission called for efforts to cut numbers of mosquitoes, including by sealing puddles of stagnant water, common breeding grounds for the insects. It also suggested people to wear trousers and long sleeves to cover their body.
In addition to the unusual weather, authorities believe that another factor in the outbreak is cases contracted abroad, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
The NHFPC also warned of risks of contracting the lethal Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, and urged those travelling to the Middle East to take precautions and seek early medical treatment in case they experience illness.
Dengue fever, a viral infection transmitted by mosquitoes, mostly hits tropical and sub-tropical regions. Symptoms include fever, nausea, rashes, backache and headaches. The hemorrhagic variant, which causes severe internal bleeding as blood vessels collapse, is often fatal.