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170 ill in dengue fever outbreak

Australia

AT least 170 people have been struck down with the worst outbreak of dengue fever since before World War II, leading authorities to declare it an epidemic.

So far, 161 people in Cairns and nine in Townsville have been confirmed to have contracted the mosquito-borne disease.

Queensland Health's Linda Selvey said the Cairns outbreak was of a type of dengue fever more virulent than that found in Townsville.

Dengue fever symptoms include fever, sunburn-like rash, sore eyes and lethargy.

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