RIO DE JANEIRO: Heavy rains over the past month have created a fertile breeding ground for mosquitoes carrying the dengue fever virus, deepening a crisis that has claimed at least 80 lives in the state of Rio. The dengue strain ravaging this tropical city is believed to be stronger and more deadly than the virus responsible for an epidemic in 2002, considered the worst in recent history in Brazil, according to Dr. Jacob Kligerman, health secretary for the city.

The statistics on dengue have been getting increasingly alarming over the past few years with 2

Brazil Troops Start Anti-Dengue Foot Patrols BRAZIL: April 9, 2008 RIO DE JANEIRO - Hundreds of Brazilian soldiers swapped ammunition packs for yellow bags of mosquito larvicide on Tuesday, taking the battle against a deadly dengue fever epidemic to the streets of Rio de Janeiro. The outbreak of the mosquito-borne disease has killed 68 people in the state of Rio, most of them in its capital -- a major tourism destination.

Climate Change A Factor In Deaths From Disease - WHO PHILIPPINES: April 8, 2008 MANILA - Climate change is one of the factors causing an increase in the incidence of diseases like malaria and dengue fever, the World Health Organisation said on Monday. At least 150,000 more people are dying each year of malaria, diarrhoea, malnutrition and floods, all of which can be traced to climate change, said Shigeru Omi, the head of the WHO's Western Pacific office. More than half of those deaths are in Asia, Omi told reporters.

With rains all around in the middle of a graduating summer, doctors fear the rise of a host of diseases, especially those associated with mosquito breeding.Doctors in the Capital apprehend more dengue and malaria cases this year due to high breeding of mosquitoes. Cases of common cold, fever, headache, body ache and rashes are already on a high.

Berries of a common weed found in India may be effective in fighting mosquitoes that spread dengue fever, a study has found. Synthetic insecticides are increasingly useless in fighting diseasespreading mosquitoes, such as the Stegomyia aegypti that can spread dengue and yellow fever viruses. In the online open-access journal BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Indian scientists described how they used juice and extracts from the Solanum villosum weed and found it was particularly effective in eliminating Stegomyia aegypti larvae.

Sri Lanka Health Ministry says that 500,000 families living in the war ravaged Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu districts are vulnerable to diseases spread by mosquitoes such as dengue, chikungunya and mal

Dengue is spreading in the Americas. Incremental changes in climate could help explain the disease's expansion, according to environmental scientists. But some dengue experts have called the link with climate "alarmist' and scientifically unsound.

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>> Mali's government has ordered the closure of 104 refined cooking oil factories across the country after an investigation revealed most of them don't have necessary equipment to produce

A rapid increase in mosquito-borne diseases has been observed in the last quarter of the previous year due to poor pest control services following the slashing of overtime for health staff, said Dr. Pradeep Kariyawasam, the Colombo Municipal Council's Chief Medical Officer. "Nevertheless the department was able to control the diseases in the Colombo city limits by 57 per cent compared to 2006. Had not the services been interrupted we could have achieved better progress,' Dr. Kariyawasam added. He said the CMC re-activated its pest control services by spraying chemicals and fumigation of high risk areas after allocating adequate funds for the workers' over-time. The Department initiated a public awareness programme yesterday to explain Dengue and Chikungunya prevention measures to face a possible epidemic in the rainy season. Sources revealed that several cases diagnosed as Hepatitis-A in the city are mainly from homes close to the massive garbage dump in Mattakkuliya. Dr. Kariyawasam said the water consumed by residents of Mahawatte, Mattakkuliya and Modera are contaminated with sewerage due to poor sanitary facilities. The Municipality advised the public to consume only boiled water, refrain from eating half-cooked leafy vegetables to prevent Hepatitis - A. The public was educated through leaflets and banners detailing precautions and symptoms regarding Hepatitis-A.