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Dengue Cases in Guangdong Rise to 124
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In south China's Guangdong Province the number of dengue cases has risen by 36 since Tuesday to 124, said the provincial health bureau on Thursday.

Thirty-eight new patients were reported over the past two days but two earlier cases had been excluded, according to the bureau. Initially thirty-six new cases were reported in the provincial capital of Guangzhou and one each in the cities of Foshan and Yangjiang.

Sixty-three patients have recovered and the others were reported to be stable in hospital. Five cases involved people from Indonesia, Cambodia, Malaysia and Thailand and the rest were local people, said the bureau.

Dengue is a serious infectious disease transmitted by mosquitoes. It kills 25,000 people and infects more than 100 million each year in tropical and subtropical regions worldwide, according to China's Ministry of Health.

Since the 1990s, dengue has broken out occasionally in Guangdong and neighboring Fujian Province but only on a small scale. However, significant outbreaks occurred in Fujian in 1999 and in east Zhejiang Province in 2004.

The local health bureau has called on residents to clean up their local environments to eradicate mosquitoes, as there are no effective vaccines to prevent the spread of the disease.

The ministry has announced a nationwide monitoring of dengue to gather details of epidemic conditions and analyze spread patterns so the disease can be detected rapidly and treated. Sixteen monitoring sites will be set up in the southern provinces of Guangdong, Fujian, Yunnan, Hainan and Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.

(Xinhua News Agency September 1, 2006)

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