KUALA LUMPUR : Deaths from dengue fever have nearly tripled in Malaysia this year compared to the same period in 2013, sparking a stepped-up campaign to control the mosquitos that spread the virus. As of this week, 22 people had died from dengue in 2014, compared to eight deaths over the same stretch last year, Health Minister S. Subramaniam told AFP on Tuesday. A total of 11,879 cases had been reported as of Monday, up nearly four-fold from the same period in 2013.

While still early in the year, at the current pace the numbers would surpass 2010, the deadliest year on record, when 134 people died from an illness that the World Health Organisation calls one of the fastest-growing viral threats globally, especially in the tropics.