- Associated Press - Saturday, September 19, 2015

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic (AP) - Health officials in the Dominican Republic have issued an alert as the number of dengue cases and deaths continue to rise in the Caribbean country.

The Ministry of Health says there have been 57 deaths so far this year, 17 more than last year during the same time period.

Officials said Friday that there have been a total of more than 5,220 cases in all this year. That’s nearly 800 more than at the same time in 2014.

Dengue cases usually flare up from August to January. The mosquito-borne virus causes fever, severe headaches and extreme joint and muscle pain.

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