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Vector control campaign launched after spike in dengue

Some 1,303 cases of dengue have been reported this year.



The Health Protection Agency has launched a vector control campaign after more than 1,000 cases of mosquito-borne disease were reported across the country.

At a press briefing Monday, the agency said 1,303 cases of dengue have been reported so far this year, including 394 cases from the capital Malé. More than 400 cases of chikungunya have also been reported, the HPA said.

State Minister for Health Mohamed Zuhair said the number of cases has increased significantly compared to the last three years.

“While we have 1,300 cases of dengue reported from January, for the same period last year we had 376 cases of dengue,” he noted, adding that there has also been a spike in the number of chikungunya cases.

The month-long campaign includes fogging, treatment programmes, surveillance of cases, raising public awareness, and eliminating mosquitoe breeding sites. 

Recommended precautionary measures include being cautious of mosquitos during dawn and sunset hours, ensuring good hygiene during food preparations, disposing of food safely and avoiding non-essential visits to hospitals.

Symptoms of dengue include aches and small red pimples on the skin.

There are annual dengue outbreaks in the Maldives, although most cases are not life-threatening.

In early 2018, there was at least one fatality in an influenza outbreak as hundreds of people sought flu and viral fever treatment every day.

Several people died in 2016 because of dengue, including a seven-month old boy and a 61-year-old woman.

More than 200 people came down with the influenza virus in early 2017, with six fatalities caused by the H1N1 or swine flu.