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One of the fastest growing and most dangerous diseases that is spreading throughout the world is Dengue fever.

Dengue fever is a painful disease spread by mosquitoes that causes fever, severe joint pain, and headaches. When people think of an infectious disease transmitted by mosquitoes, malaria is often the first that comes to mind. Dengue fever, however, can be a larger problem in many areas of the world.

Recent outbreaks in Southeast Asia and Latin America have sent countries like Honduras and Singapore into a state of emergency. According to the World Health Organization, between 50 million and 100 million people are reported to be infected with the dangerous fever. Additional studies show that those numbers are actually much higher, showing no signs of slowing down. Dengue claims about 500,000 severe cases a year, and with no immunization or treatment for Dengue, a sick individual must either ride out the disease in a hospital bed or become one of the estimated 12,000 that die each year.

Most of the mosquitoes that carry Dengue fever are located in urban areas where water is stagnant and eggs can be laid. Homes are being fumigated in an attempt to control the disease from spreading any further. Unfortunately, the cost of Dengue is not cheap. It is estimated that Honduras will spend around $2.5 million on preventing and treating Dengue fever.

Dengue has become an increasing problem over the years in Asia and Latin America and it is important to recognize this disease and take proper precautions before it becomes an even bigger problem than it already is.

– Taylor Schaefer

Sources: CNN, Wall Street Journal
Photo: NY Times