The Deadly Ebola Threat in the Midst of an Overwhelming Dengue Epidemic|
BESARI, Alwi Muhd; MD NOOR, Siti Suraiya & LEE, Yeong Yeh
The recent death tolls and morbidities associated with two deadly viral haemorrhagic fevers (VHFs), i.e., Ebola and dengue, are simply shocking. By the end of August 2014, 65 672 people were afflicted with dengue fever (DF) in Malaysia, with 9505 from Kelantan, and there were 128 reported deaths. More astounding are the death tolls associated with Ebola: 3091 deaths from 6574 reported cases so far. It is not difficult to imagine the potential disaster if Ebola spreads beyond Africa. VHFs are characterised by an acute onset of fever, vascular disruption and a rapid progression to shock and death. The revised World Health Organization (WHO) 2012 classification (dengue with and without warning signs and severe dengue) is more clinically relevant and allows more streamlined admission. With good administrative support and public health and governmental efforts, the dengue epidemic in Malaysia is now more contained. However, there should be no laxity with the imminent lethal Ebola threat. Human-to-human transmission is an important mechanism for the spread of Ebola, and this calls for strict precautions regarding contact with any suspected cases. In contrast, the control and elimination of dengue would require successful control of the vectors and their breeding sites.
Ebola; dengue; hemorrhage; fever; virus