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PAHO announces that the number of dengue fever cases has exceeded 5.2 million in the Americas, surpassing the annual record

PAHO announces that the number of dengue fever cases has exceeded 5.2 million in the Americas, surpassing the annual record



Dengue cases are rapidly increasing in the Americas, with more than 5.2 million reported cases as of this week, surpassing the annual record set in 2023, according to the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO). ing.

PAHO spokesperson Ashley Baldwin told CNN on Thursday that as of Wednesday, 5,214,480 dengue cases had been reported in the Americas. In all of 2023, the total number of cases reported in the region was 4,572,765.

“Due to dengue, we are in a state of emergency,” PAHO Director Jarvas Barbosa said at a press conference on Thursday.

Countries in the Southern Hemisphere have been the hardest hit so far, with Brazil accounting for the majority of cases. February, Rio de Janeiro declared a public health emergency Amid a surge in cases.

In Peru, the number of infections has soared to more than 134,000, and the government announced this week that 20 of the country's 25 regions are under health alert.

Although the situation appears to have stabilized in some South American hotspots in recent weeks, PAHO warned other countries in the region, including in the Northern Hemisphere, that they must prepare for the arrival of spring and rising temperatures.

“Most cases in the Southern Hemisphere occur in the first half of the year, and most cases in the Northern Hemisphere occur in the second half of the year,” Baldwin said. “So far this year, we have seen a peak in the number of infections in the south, and we expect the number of infections to increase in the north as well.”

According to PAHO, the increase in dengue fever can be attributed to several factors, including rising temperatures, extreme weather events, rapid population growth, and inadequate water and sanitation services that can create breeding grounds for mosquitoes. be.

So far in 2024, 1,858 deaths from the disease have been reported in the Americas, down from last year's total of 2,418.

Barbosa warned that while a dengue vaccine is available and can help reduce severe cases and deaths, it cannot immediately stop the outbreak.

Aedes aegypti mosquitoes stored in a container on March 13, 2024 in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Public health workers spray pesticides during a fumigation campaign in the Ceilandía neighborhood in Brasilia, Brazil, Friday, February 16, 2024.

Baldwin said that to control the outbreak, PAHO is recommending the implementation of strategies focused on surveillance, control of virus-carrying mosquitoes, and clinical management.

“Currently, there is no specific treatment for dengue fever (at any clinical stage), but most cases are mild. If detected early and given appropriate medical care, death from severe dengue fever is possible. will be lower,” Baldwin added.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), dengue fever is a mosquito-borne virus spread primarily through the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which is also known to transmit other viruses such as yellow fever, chikungunya, and Zika. It can cause flu-like symptoms and, in the worst case scenario, can lead to death.

According to the World Health Organization, the virus is endemic in more than 100 countries with tropical and subtropical climates, mostly in urban and semi-urban areas. It is also endemic in the U.S. territories of Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and American Samoa.




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