12 Jul 2013 11:19

TEGUCIGALPA, July 11 (BERNAMA-NNN-XINHUA) -- Dengue fever has killed 11 people in Honduras so far this year, the country's health ministry said on Wednesday.

Two more deaths were under investigation, possibly bringing the death toll to 13, according to Kevin Lara, chief of the monitoring sector at the ministry.

A total of 9,344 cases of the mosquito-borne disease have been reported since the beginning of the year, with 958 cases reported in the past week and representing an increase of 54 per cent compared with the same period of 2012, the ministry said.

The National Risk Management System (Sinager) issued a health warning on June 21 for 113 out of 298 municipalities.

The departments (states) of Francisco Morazan in the centre, Ocotepeque in the west, and the cities of San Pedro Sula, Choloma, Juticalpa and Catacamas reported higher level of infections, the ministry said.

Health Minister Salvador Pineda urged the public not to "let down their guard" and take preventive measures to fight against the disease, according to an interview by a local radio station.

The number of dengue cases will rise due to increased rainfall in the coming months, officials said.

Authorities launched a prevention campaign on Feb 29 aimed at eradicating the breeders of dengue-transmitting Aedes aegypti mosquito.

In 2010, the dengue fever killed 83 people in Honduras. In 2011 and 2012, no cases of the hemorrhagic variant were reported.

Across the central America, Costa Rica, Nicaragua and El Salvador have also issued dengue alerts recently, where the disease has infected around 30,000 people this year alone.

Dengue affects between 50 and 100 million people in tropic and sub-tropic areas each year.