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Dengue fever kills 18 in Burkina Faso

By on November 25, 2016

Dengue fever has killed at least 18 people in Burkina Faso since August in the worst recordedoutbreak of the disease to hit the West African nation, an aid agency said on Thursday.

The mosquito-borne virus – which causes flu-like symptoms and can develop into the deadly hemorrhagic dengue fever – has infected nearly 2,000 people, mainly in central Burkina Faso, said The Alliance for International Medical Action (ALIMA).

“This is certainly the largest documented outbreak of dengue fever to hit Burkina Faso,” said Vincent Mendiboure of ALIMA.

A shortage of rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) in health facilities means that the number of cases may be higher than the 1,962 recorded by the health ministry, the medical charity said.

“Early diagnosis is fundamental in order to give the best possible treatment,” said Eric Diendere, an infectious disease physician and president of charity SOS Medecins Burkina.

Dengue kills some 20,000 people each year and infects up to 390 million, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

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