Guangdong province is working to prevent the spread of dengue fever in the wake of 79 confirmed cases in 13 prefecture-level cities so far this year.
Lin Lifeng, deputy director of Guangdong Provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention, said he is not optimistic about the situation this year, as the number of confirmed cases have jumped.
"Guangdong reported only 10 confirmed dengue fever cases in the same period last year," Lin said.
Meanwhile, the density of mosquitoes in the province is higher since March than the same period a year ago, he added.
Dengue fever, a mosquito-borne viral infection, usually causes severe flu-like symptoms, including headaches, rashes, lethargy and joint and bone pain. It can develop into potentially deadly hemorrhagic fever.
Lin said the center was stressing the importance of tackling dengue fever, adding that concrete measures must be introduced to help prevent outbreaks elsewhere.
He urged residents not to panic, as dengue fever can usually be prevented and cured.
Experts have attributed the rise of dengue fever to frequent contact with Southeast Asian countries, where the incidence of the disease has been climbing this year. People who travel to the affected countries can carry the disease back home with them.
According to Shantou customs, a Chinese passenger was found to have contracted dengue fever on a flight from Cambodia earlier this month, and is now in stable condition after treatment at Jieyang People's Hospital. The passenger, who started his business trip on March 24, was diagnosed on April 4 and was sent home two day later.
Chinese embassies in some Southeast Asian nations have urged people to pay special attention to preventing infection while traveling.
The Guangdong CDC has launched a special campaign to help prevent and fight the disease. A property manager surnamed Li in Guangzhou's Tianhe district said his company has been spraying insecticide three times a week around residential buildings to fight mosquitoes, compared with less than once a week previously.