Guangzhou tackles dengue fever outbreak

Updated: 2014-08-19 06:51

By Zheng Caixiong in Guangzhou(China Daily)

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Guangzhou is sparing no effort to prevent the spread of dengue fever after 400 confirmed or suspected cases were reported there so far this year.

Yang Zhicong, deputy director of the Guangzhou Center for Disease Control and Prevention, said measures to combat the disease are being strictly applied in the capital of Guangdong province.

The center was stressing the importance of tackling the problem to departments responsible for dealing with infectious diseases.

 Guangzhou tackles dengue fever outbreak

Residents participate in an activity to raise awareness of dengue fever prevention at a community in Guangzhou on Sunday. Tang Mingming / For China Daily

"Effective measures have to be introduced to help bring the disease under control when mini-outbreaks of dengue fever are reported in the city," Yang said at a meeting during the weekend.

Fifty-two neighborhood committees in the city's seven districts have reported dengue fever cases since the first case of the current outbreak in Yuexiu district in early June, according to sources at the Guangzhou health bureau.

In addition to 250 confirmed cases among city residents, there have been 129 suspected cases and 21 cases involving patients who have traveled to the city. No deaths have been reported.

Dengue fever is most commonly passed to humans by mosquitoes. Symptoms of the flu-like disease include headaches, rashes, lethargy and joint and bone pain.

Guangzhou tackles dengue fever outbreak

Yang's center is sending working groups to neighborhood committees to wipe out mosquitoes and teach residents how to combat the disease.

Dengue fever usually peaks in Guangdong, which borders Hong Kong and Macao, between May and November, said Yang.

But he denied reports in Hong Kong that some villages in Guangzhou's Nansha and Baiyun districts were closed to prevent the spread of the disease.

"We have never closed a village because of dengue fever," he said. "The disease has been brought under control in the villages in Nansha and Baiyun."

Yang urged locals not to panic as dengue fever can be prevented and treated. The province was reported to have had 2,800 cases last year.

A doctor at Guangdong Provincial People's Hospital declined to give details of dengue fever cases in recent weeks.

Wang Chenfeng, a Guangzhou office worker, said there is nothing to be afraid of as Guangzhou has experienced dengue fever outbreaks for many years.

"Dengue fever, which can be prevented and cured, has never been as serious as SARS, which struck the province in 2003, and other serious diseases," she added.

(China Daily 08/19/2014 page5)