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Malaysian Authorities Working To Contain Dengue Fever Outbreak

“At least five people have died from dengue fever this month in Malaysia, where authorities are struggling to contain an outbreak of the mosquito-borne virus that claims hundreds of lives annually in Southeast Asia,” the Wall Street Journal’s “Southeast Asia Real Time” blog reports. “The total number of dengue deaths for the year now stands at 79, more than double the 34 deaths recorded in 2012,” the blog writes, adding, “Cases of the virus have also spiked, with 37,698 dengue cases reported as of December 7, an 85 percent increase from the 20,387 cases reported in the same period a year earlier, according to data from Malaysia’s Health Ministry.” According to the blog, “To keep the mosquito population in check, Malaysia’s health ministry is searching thousands of premises around the country to identify potential breeding grounds and is urging the public to drain stagnant water from around their houses. It has also pressed non-profit organizations to boost efforts to educate the public about keeping their premises clean and mosquito free” (Gangopadhyay, 12/16).