Suspected outbreak of dengue fever kill four, infects hundreds in Somali capital

A suspected outbreak of dengue fever has hit the Somali capital of Mogadishu, medical workers said Wednesday.

Abdi Ibrahim Jiya, a doctor in Mogadishu, said he believed the disease was dengue, but that doctors had been unable to confirm that because the lawless capital lacks necessary laboratory equipment. He said the infection had been circulating in Mogadishu for three months.

Dr. Nageye Ahmed, a Canada-based pediatrician who was visiting relatives, also said he believed the disease was dengue, and that it appeared widespread in Mogadishu.

Symptoms included high fever, joint pain, headache and vomiting.

Four people have died of the fever, according to their relatives and doctors. Dengue is rarely fatal when properly treated.

Dengue is a mosquito-borne infection which is found in tropical and subtropical regions around the world, predominantly in urban and semi-urban areas.

A potentially lethal complication, dengue hemorrhagic fever, kills about 2.5 percent of those infected, but fatality rates can exceed 20 percent if victims do not receive proper treatment, according to the U.N.'s World Health Organization.

There are four distinct, but closely related, viruses that cause dengue. Recovery from infection by one provides lifelong immunity against that variant but provides only partial and transient protection against subsequent infection by the other three, according to WHO.


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