Chad's Ministry of Health told AFP on Wednesday that an epidemic of dengue fever had broken out in the east of the country at the beginning of August, a viral disease transmitted by a mosquito, the severe forms of which are rare but can be fatal.
"The Ministry of Public Health and Prevention informs the public of the outbreak of an epidemic of dengue fever in the health district of Abéché," the capital of the Ouaddaï region, around 650km east of N'Djamena, Chad's capital, said Abdermadjid Abderahim Mahamat, the Minister of Health, in a statement sent to AFP on Wednesday.
On 7 August, "samples taken and analysed confirmed the existence of the epidemic, but for the moment we have not yet recorded any deaths", said the ministry, contacted by AFP.
Transmitted by the bite of an infected mosquito, dengue fever is a virus that is widespread in hot countries and occurs mainly in urban and semi-urban areas, causing between 100 and 400 million infections every year, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Dengue fever can cause high fever, headaches, nausea, vomiting, muscle pain and, in the most serious cases, haemorrhaging that can lead to death.