Second death reported in dengue outbreak

Second death reported in dengue outbreak
May 12 18:33 2016

A seven-month old infant died from dengue fever on Wednesday – the second death from the mosquito-borne disease this year.

The boy died at Malé’s Indhira Gandhi Memorial Hospital despite nine days of treatment at the intensive care unit, a spokeswoman for the state-owned hospital said.

A 35-year old woman died from dengue on the island of Faresmaathoda in Gaaf Dhaalu Atoll last week.

Dengue causes high temperatures, severe pain, headaches and rashes and, in its most severe form (dengue haemorrhagic fever) internal bleeding, vomiting and death.

Prevention and control of the illness solely depends on effective mosquito control measures. Dengue is now endemic in the Maldives.

The Health Protection Agency said 460 cases of dengue have been reported to the authorities this year. Some 67 percent of the reports came from the atolls.

The HPA has urged the public to eradicate potential mosquito breeding grounds. The southwest monsoon, marked by heavy rainfall, leads to an explosion of dengue cases.

Reports of a Finnish man who tested positive for the mosquito-borne Zika virus prompted concern earlier this year, with the World Health Organisation sending in experts to carry out tests. However, blood samples were never sent for laboratory tests to Bangkok because of a lack of equipment, local news website Sun Online has reported.

In July last year, the government closed down schools after 475 cases, including three fatalities, were reported. Hundreds of civil servants, scouts and volunteers were mobilized in a nation-wide awareness campaign.

Some 1800 cases of dengue, including a total of six fatalities, were reported across the Maldives last year.

A severe outbreak of dengue in 2011 saw a record high of 12 deaths. There were 2909 reported cases of dengue that year. In 2006, ten people died of dengue.

Dengue fever cases worldwide have climbed dramatically since the 1960s, with some 50 million people infected annually.