Saturday, September 15, 2007

Singapore and Cuba to cooperate fighting dengue

www.chinaview.cn

2007-09-14 19:48:04

SINGAPORE, Sept. 14 (Xinhua) -- Singapore and Cuba on Friday sign an agreement to collaborate on the control and prevention of dengue, local media reported.

The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed by the CEO of Singapore's National Environment Agency (NEA) Lee Yuen Hee, and Director-General of Cuba's Institute of Pedro Kouri Gustavo Kouri, Channel NewsAsia reported.

It will allow both countries to leverage on each other's expertise and experience in dengue control.

The collaboration will star with three projects. The first will review the dengue situation in Cuba and Singapore to identify differences, similarities, and research and operational issues on dengue control and surveillance.

The other two projects will be: identifying relevant data and parameters for comparison on the dengue situation in both countries, and determining if there are any differences in the Aedes Aegypti species found in Cuba and Singapore, the report said.

"Cuba has faced their own challenges. They are not really in an endemic region, so they have seen the cases more intermittently and this has allowed them to study the diseases better. So with the better knowledge that Cuba has gained, I think this will be very helpful for us in an endemic region." Singapore's Environment and Water Resources Minister Yaacob Ibrahim said at the event.

Dengue is caused by four closely related viruses and is spread by the Aedes mosquito, which breeds in still water. Its symptoms include high fever, nausea, rashes, backache and headache.

It has affected thousands of people, mainly living in tropical areas. Since there is no known cure, health authorities try to control the spread of the disease by targeting the mosquito.

Cuba, which saw its first case of dengue in 1977, is renowned for its achievements in dengue control and research.

Singapore has reported more than 6,000 dengue cases this year, and has had seven deaths from the disease.

Editor: Wang Hongjiang

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