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Dengue Fever a Full-Blown Crisis in Guangzhou

Posted: 10/8/2014 9:00 am

A health workers sprays for mosquitos

Dengue fever has claimed another two lives in Guangzhou in the last two days according to Guangdong’s provincial health and family planning committee. That brings the total number of reported cases to 21,527, including six deaths, as Guangdong struggles to contain the worst outbreak the province has seen in almost two decades.

Five people have died in Guangzhou and one in Foshan, according to New Express Daily. The contagious disease, transmitted by mosquitos, continues to spread quickly. On October 5 alone, the province reported 1,431 new cases and one death, said China News.

Health experts still aren’t clear why this year’s infection rates have been so high, or why the disease struck so early in the year, wrote China Science Newspaper. “This is quite shocking; we expect cases of infection to increase in the near future,” said Qin Chengfeng, a researcher with the Academy of Military Medical Science. Qin said normally Dengue Fever strikes in October and November, but this year, there were cases as early as August.

Qin noted that China isn’t alone in struggling to contain Dengue. Other countries in Asia including Singapore and Japan have also had a number of cases. There are reports of a vaccination used in Central Africa that could lower the rate of infection by 60 percent, but the possibility of importing it to China is slim due to regulatory hurdles. “It will take a long time before the vaccination is allowed in China,” said Liu Fuqiang, an epidemiology expert and emergency department director at the Hunan Center of Disease Control.

Photos: AP

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