The World Health Organisation is flying in experts from Thailand to help the East Timorese government cope with an epidemic of dengue fever that has killed 9 people since January 5. Minister for Health Rui Araujo said 67 cases had been reported and he feared the problem could escalate. He said the cases being reported were the haemorrhagic form of the disease which was particularly dangerous to children. Of the nine deaths reported, eight were children under 14. 'I visited Dili Hospital on Wednesday and over half of the paediatrics ward was given over to kids suffering from dengue fever,' said Mark Hampson, medical adviser to Australian embassy staff. There is no vaccination against dengue fever, which like malaria is spread by mosquitoes. Its onset is marked by sudden high fever, severe headache and pain behind the eyes, according to the World Health Organisation. Dr Hampson has treated 20 cases of dengue in the past three weeks among members of Dili's extensive expatriate community of UN staff and aid workers. On Tuesday, he saw five cases. These cases are in addition to the Ministry of Health's estimates. Australian army medical staff are also advising the government on how best to cope with the outbreak. Extra measures are being taken at military facilities occupied by the 120 Australian peacekeeping troops in Dili, with insecticide being sprayed daily. Alex Andjaparidze, of the WHO, said the mosquito which carried dengue tended to live inside houses where water was exposed. He said more needed be done to clear the streets of bags and bottles that may contain water where mosquitoes could breed.