HEALTH

Dominican health officials issue alert amid rising cases of dengue, deaths

PLEASANT HILL, CA - JUNE 29:  Mosquitos are seen inside a trap on June 29, 2012 in Pleasant Hill, California. As reports of mosquitoes with West Nile virus are increasing across the country and several people have been confirmed to be infected by the potentially dangerous disease, the Contra Costa County Mosquito and Vector Control District is testing mosquito larvae found in standing water throughout the county and is using mosquito fish and BVA Larvacide oils to eradicate the pest.  (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

PLEASANT HILL, CA - JUNE 29: Mosquitos are seen inside a trap on June 29, 2012 in Pleasant Hill, California. As reports of mosquitoes with West Nile virus are increasing across the country and several people have been confirmed to be infected by the potentially dangerous disease, the Contra Costa County Mosquito and Vector Control District is testing mosquito larvae found in standing water throughout the county and is using mosquito fish and BVA Larvacide oils to eradicate the pest. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)  (2012 Getty Images)

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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