South China's Guangdong Province reported 1,431 new dengue fever cases on Sunday, bringing the total to 21,527, local health authorities said yesterday.
The number was rising quickly, with more than 1,000 new cases found each day last week. One new fatality was reported by the province's health and family planning commission on Sunday, bringing the death toll in the province to six.
The latest case was in the Liwan District in western Guangzhou, Guangdong's capital, which has seen five deaths from dengue so far this year. With 18,192 cases confirmed, Guangzhou is the worst-hit city in the province.
One fatality was reported in Foshan, a city adjacent to Liwan with a total of 1,997 cases, the commission reported.
The disease has been detected in 20 out of 21 prefecture-level cities in Guangdong.
Dengue is a mosquito-borne, potentially fatal disease that affects between 50 and 100 million people in tropical and subtropical regions every year, causing fever combined with aching muscles and joints.
Chen Jianhua, Guangzhou's mayor, has urged more efforts to kill mosquitos. He also called for early detection of the epidemic, early medical treatment, and early quarantine so as to check the spread of dengue.
Vehicles were spraying pesticide on the streets of Guangzhou yesterday. People were also disinfecting sewers, garages, channels and green belts with. free mosquito repellent provided at local communities.
Guangzhou is launching a clean-up campaign today, focusing on schools and construction sites that had been unoccupied during the National Day holiday.
Health authorities attribute the outbreak, believed to be the worst in 20 years, to high temperatures and wet weather in Guangdong, where the mosquito population is five times the normal level.
(Xinhua News Agency October 7, 2014)