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Dengue Cases in South China Jump to 219
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The number of dengue fever cases reported in south China's Guangdong Province has risen by 95 since last Thursday bringing the number of people stricken by the disease this year to 219, said the provincial health department on Monday.


A hundred and eleven people have recovered, 108 are still receiving treatment in hospital and no deaths have been reported, the department said.


The 219 cases include 192 in Guangzhou, the provincial capital, 20 in Yangjiang, five in Foshan and one each in Zhuhai and Chaozhou, said the department. They didn't provide details on why there has been a sudden increase in the number of new cases.


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 of the world, according to China's Ministry of Health.


Since the 1990s dengue fever has broken out occasionally in Guangdong and neighboring Fujian Province but mainly on a small scale. However, large outbreaks took place in Fujian in 1999 and in east Zhejiang Province in 2004.


The local health authorities have asked residents to clean up their environments to eradicate mosquitoes as there are no effective vaccines to prevent the disease.


The ministry has announced a nationwide monitoring of dengue fever to gather details of outbreaks so the disease can be more quickly detected.


(Xinhua News Agency September 5, 2006)

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