9 confirmed dead from dengue in Honduras

TEGUCIGALPA, March 18 (Xinhua) -- At least nine people have died in Honduras this year from severe dengue fever, the Ministry of Health said on Monday.

"We have 14 reported deaths, but of those only nine have been confirmed through laboratory tests," said Edith Rodriguez, head of surveillance of the ministry.

The majority of the cases are in the department of Cortes in the northwestern of the country.

Among these deaths, only one is a 35-year-old adult, while the rest are children aged between two and 13.

So far, the ministry has reported more than 4,200 cases of dengue without warning signs and 1,131 severe cases.

Municipalities most affected by the illness are Choloma, San Manuel, Pimienta, Villanueva, San Francisco de Yojoa and Omoa, all in the department of Cortes.

Honduras ended 2018 with a total of 9,114 cases of dengue, compared with 5,217 cases in the previous year.

Similar to zika and chikungunya, dengue is a mosquito-borne tropical disease, the symptoms of which include a high fever, headache, vomiting, muscle and joint pains, and a characteristic skin rash.