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Kuala Lumpur (VNA) – Malaysia recorded 336 dengue deaths – the highest ever – last year, up 56.3 percent from that of 2014.

According to the country’s Health Ministry, there was also a 12-percent rise in the number of dengue cases to 120,836 throughout the year from 108,698 in 2014.

Statistics provided by the National Crisis Preparedness and Response Centre of Malaysia indicate that a total of 2,404 dengue cases have been recorded across the nation from January 3 to 7 this year.

The number of dengue cases in Selangor continues to soar with 1,163. This is followed by Johor with 399, Kuala Lumpur (155), Negri Sembilan (111) and Penang (102).

Health Minister S. Subramaniam said that the biggest obstacle in the fight against dengue fever is the lack of an effective treatment.

He said although the vaccine has been introduced, but it was not 100 percent effective, as it has a limited scope of usage.

Therefore, he advised people to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes and to control the breeding of mosquitoes.

According to the World Health Organisation, dengue is a mosquito-born viral disease. Dengue fever is contracted through bites of infected female mosquitoes, causing headaches, fever, exhaustion, severe muscle and joint pain, swollen glands, vomiting and rashes. There is no medication to treat the disease – only to ease the symptoms.

Dengue has been present in more than 100 countries and territories worldwide over the past 50 years, and an estimated 50-100 million cases occur each year.-VNA