Dengue Virus Outbreak in South East Asia is Getting Real
(Mon, 13 July 2020). As the world battles the pandemic, Asia is fighting against dengue virus. Scientists say that the number of cases is starting to “explode.”
The number of dengue virus cases in South East Asia is rapidly increasing. Restrictive measures to combat the pandemic could worsen the situation. Scientists fear a “bad year” in 2020 in combating the virus. As the world battles the pandemic, Asia is fighting against the dengue virus. Some scientists say that the number of cases is starting to “explode.”
Countries like Singapore and the Philippines typically suffer from the virus seasonally. But, this time, Leong says he fears a “bad year” is brewing due to the virus.
Why The Dengue Virus Is A Problem In South East Asia
The dengue virus is not transmitted from person to person. Unlike the ongoing pandemic, there is a lower risk of an epidemic caused by the virus. But the threat of widespread infections can increase when many people are already infected.
A person can get infected by dengue with a bite from a female Aedes mosquito carrying the virus. While the virus cannot spread from person to person, an uninfected mosquito could get the virus from an infected person. When a large group of people is infected by dengue, it increases the probability of new mosquitoes catching the virus. Based on the trend of human to mosquito transmission, Leong said an upsurge of new virus cases is likely.
The National Environment Agency (NEA) of Singapore said in June that it expects cases to reach similar numbers as in 2013. Seven years ago, Singapore recorded around 22,170 dengue virus cases.
Strict lockdowns and restrictive measures to combat the pandemic are further worsening the spread of dengue. Female Aedes mosquitoes typically inhabit wet areas. A cluster of infected mosquitoes in villages could infect more people that are staying at home due to lockdowns.
Cases Starting To Increase Rapidly
On July 11, the province of Eastern Visayas in the Philippines officially recorded 4,131 cases of dengue. Three days before that, China also reported its first case of the same virus. According to The Straits Times, the number of dengue cases in Singapore is increasing by 250 per day on average.
There is no specific medicine to treat the virus. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of the U.S. says individuals tend to recover in about a week. The main problem with dengue is that the lack of treatment or medical aid could lead to severe cases. For now, restrictive measures to prevent the pandemic’s expansion are still intact across many Asian countries. Scientists are closely observing whether new measures are necessary to address the rapid influx of dengue cases.
GFS ASIA TEAM
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