Public health nightmare: East Africa put on high alert over dengue fever outbreak
Thursday May 29 2014
Public health officials in East Africa are on high alert as Tanzania battles with an outbreak of the viral disease that has no cure, surveillance on the Indian Ocean coastline has been heightened. TEA Graphic
Official reports from the Tanzanian Health Ministry show that more than 400 patients in Dar es Salaam have been diagnosed with dengue fever over the past four months and three have died.
Dengue fever, which is transmitted by the aedes aegypti mosquito, is common in tropical regions, but scientists believe that climate change is making the mosquitoes more prevalent in the region. Cross-border migrations accelerate transmission of the virus, public health officials say.
Dengue fever is said to affect about 390 million people every year, and is particularly prevalent on the East African coast. Kemri researchers said the disease is a major problem in Kenya, Somalia, Eritrea and Djibouti, which have reported sporadic cases before and are at a high risk of outbreaks.