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Cape Verde: MSF Responds to Africa's Biggest Recorded Dengue Fever Outbreak
November 11, 2009
The Cape Verde Ministry of Health has reported 13,187 suspected cases of dengue fever in four islands within the archipelago between October 1 and November 9. The outbreak is the first ever in Cape Verde and is the biggest recorded in Africa. The number of cases increased sharply at the beginning of November, reaching 1,000 cases per day. As of November 11, 93 cases of dengue hemorrhagic fever have been reported and six people have died.
“This is the first reported epidemic of dengue fever in Cape Verde and it is huge,” said Dr. Iza Ciglenecki, MSF’s emergency coordinator in Cape Verde. “With globalization, dengue fever is appearing in places where it has previously been unknown. It is the most rapidly spreading mosquito-borne disease in the world.”
The international response to the outbreak has been positive, with public health experts and international medical teams now providing medical support, case management, surveillance, and diagnostics.