SINGAPORE, Oct 01 (AP): The world is seeing an explosion in dengue infections as the
virus-carrying Aedes mosquito adapts to city environments and grows immune to
traditional methods of population control, a panel of experts in Singapore said Saturday.
"It's a global pandemic," said Dr. Duane Gubler, director of the Asia-Pacific Institute of
Tropical Diseases in Hawaii. "It's quite clear that the disease...has evolved. There just is
more dengue in the world."
All across Asia, governments are scrambling to contain the virus, which is only carried by
the Aedes mosquito.
Singapore has already recorded more than 11,000 cases this year, exceeding the previous
record of 9,459 set in 2004. Neighbouring Malaysia has reported close to 28,000 human
infections -- more than 25 per cent com pared to a year ago.
And the Philippines and Thailand are also battling a rash of infections.
Dengue-armed "guerrilla" mosquitoes were the world's new enemy, said Dr. Paul Reiter,
an infectious diseases expert from the Pasteur Institute in France.
Another AP report from Bangkok adds: AIDS is making a deadly comeback in Thailand.
The country of 63 million people was once considered a model for the fight against the
disease, but the man behind that success says it has returned to the days of ignorance.
AIDS crusader Mechai Viravaidya in the early 1990s launched an aggressive condom
distribution and public education campaign, which helped to drop the country's number of
infections from nearly 143,000 in 1991 to 19,000 last year, according to official statistics.