Dengue cases explode in Brazila country that registered in the first four epidemiological weeks of this year, 217,481 casesalmost five times more than the 44,752 cases recorded in the same period last year, with Rio de Janeiro being one of the most affected areas.
In fact, Rio de Janeiro declared “a state of public health emergency” on the eve of Carnival due to the skyrocketing cases of dengue in the city, that exceed 10,000 since the beginning of the yearas published this Monday in the Official Gazette.
People line up to get vaccinated against dengue, yellow fever and chikungunya to travel to Brazil, in Buenos Aires. Photo: Reuters
The Mayor's Office of Rio presented a contingency plan to confront what he called a “dengue epidemic” that foresees the implementation of a series of measures to prevent the proliferation of the Aedes aegypti mosquito, transmitter of the disease.
How dengue is transmitted
Dengue is transmitted through the bite of an infected Aedes mosquito, mainly Aedes aegypti. This mosquito breeds in areas with stagnant water, such as containers, tires, puddles, among others.
Dengue is transmitted through the bite of an infected Aedes mosquito. Photo: AP
When a person is bitten by an infected mosquito, the dengue virus enters their body and multiplies in their blood. causing the disease. Dengue is not transmitted directly from person to person, but through mosquito bites.
Brasilia, also affected
Other regions of Brazil also face important dengue outbreaks, such as the Federal District of Brasilia, where They have even set up a field hospital to care for infected patients.
“The numbers are high throughout Brazil, which raises the alarm for the urgency of actions by public power and the population,” warned the Rio Mayor's Office, which these days prepares to receive hundreds of thousands of tourists to celebrate Carnival.
The Rio Carnivalthe biggest party in Brazil and internationally known, officially begins next Friday, although last weekend it already brought thousands of people to the streets to accompany the traditional parades.
According to official data, Rio, the most tourist city in the country, has recorded more than 10,000 cases of dengue so far this year, compared to the 22,959 it reported in all of 2023.
The disease incidence rate in Rio it is now 160.68 cases per 100,000 inhabitants.
Workers from the Municipal Health Secretariat of San Pablo fumigate some homes. Photo: EFE archive
Among the measures that the Rio authorities will implement are: creating an emergency operations center, setting up ten specific care points distributed throughout the municipality, reserving beds for dengue patients in public hospitals; and fumigate the regions with the highest incidence of cases.
Five times more cases
So far this year, Brazil has recorded 262,247 cases of dengue, according to data from the Ministry of Health. In January alone they increased 160% with respect to the same month of 2023.
According to the latest official balance, 29 confirmed deaths from the disease have been reported in the country, while another 173 deaths are under investigation.
The Minister of Health, Nísia Trindade, inaugurated last Saturday an emergency operations center against dengue with the aim unify dengue coping and surveillance strategies with the support of states and municipalities.
Trindade then denied to the press that the country is in a “national emergency” situation, since in his opinion there is only epidemic conditions in some regions, as Río de Janeiro, Brasilia, Acre and Minas Gerais.
The growth in dengue cases occurs on the eve of the Ministry of Health beginning to distribute the first batches of the vaccine developed by the Japanese laboratory Takeda.
Brazil will be the first country in the world to offer the formula in the public health system, although its application is not expected to produce an immediate health impact due to the low availability of doses. This was reported by the Ministry of Health, highlighting that there were 15 deaths due to the disease, compared to 26 last year. However, 149 deaths are considered suspicious and have not yet been accounted for.
The main symptoms of dengue are fever, skin rashes, and muscle and joint pain. In more severe forms, dengue can cause internal bleeding and lead to death.
With information from EFE and ANSA