KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) – Malaysia saw a rise in deaths caused by dengue to 113 by August 3, compared to 70 cases in the same period last year, the health ministry said on Saturday.

It also said the total of dengue cases from the start of the year to early August hit 80,000, twice the number of cases in the corresponding period last year.

More than 70% of the cases occurred in urban areas, it said.

Globally, the number of dengue cases dropped in 2017-2018, but there has been a sharp increase in 2019, especially in Australia, Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Laos, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Vietnam.

(Reporting by Liz Lee; Editing by Stephen Powell)