Dengue is sweeping the Americas early this year | Trending Viral hub


San Juan Puerto Rico — Dengue is surging across the Americas early this year, from Puerto Rico to Brazil, and 3.5 million cases of the tropical disease have been reported so far, health officials said Thursday.

That figure triples the number of cases reported at this time last year, said Dr. Jarbas Barbosa, director of the Pan American Health Organization, the World Health Organization’s regional office in the Americas.

Last year, there were a record 4.5 million cases in the region, and PAHO officials said they expect a new record to be set this year.

Dengue fever typically increases during the rainy season, which is still months away. And some areas are reporting dengue for the first time, officials said.

The dengue virus is transmitted to people when they are bitten by infected mosquitoes. Factors driving the increase are rising temperatures, rapid urbanization, climate change-related droughts and floods, and poor sanitation and lack of robust health systems in some countries, health officials said.

The virus can cause crushing headaches, fever, vomiting, rash and other symptoms. While most infected people have no symptoms, severe cases can lead to death. There is no specific treatment other than pain relievers.

The majority of current cases are in the southern hemisphere, with more than 80% in Brazil, followed by Paraguay, Argentina, Peru and Colombia. About 1,000 deaths have been reported in the Americas so far this year.

More than 25,000 cases have been reported in the Caribbean alone, with French Guiana, Martinique, Guadeloupe, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic being the most affected, said Dr. Rhonda Sealey-Thomas, PAHO deputy director.

On Monday, Puerto Rico’s health secretary declared an epidemic, with more than 540 cases and at least 341 people hospitalized. The figures are worrying because some parts of the island are currently under a moderate drought and the wettest month is not until August.

The rise in cases forced Rio de Janeiro to declare a public health emergency last month ahead of Carnival. Peru did the same with most of its provinces, and others have followed suit.

There are four different dengue viruses circulating in the Americas, said Dr. Sylvain Aldighieri of PAHO. “We have to be prepared for this.”

Some countries have released specially bred mosquitoes that contain a bacteria called Wolbachia that fights dengue.

Last month, Josian Bruno, who lives in Puerto Rico’s capital of San Juan, developed a fever and body aches. A laboratory test confirmed that the 38-year-old man had kidney failure due to severe dehydration. He spent six days in the hospital and, the day after being discharged, his test results came back positive for dengue.

“When they tell you it’s kidney failure, it’s scary,” he said.

It’s been a month and Bruno still has difficulty moving his arms and walking, and has not been able to resume his three-times-a-week runs.

While there is limited availability of a new dengue vaccine, it requires two doses three months apart. Barbosa said officials are monitoring how well it actually works. He said a single-shot vaccine won’t be available until next year.

Source link

Check Also

Dentro de Novo Nordisk, la empresa detrás de Ozempic y Wegovy | Trending Viral hub

[ad_1] Lars Fruergaard Jorgensen tiene un problema: demasiada gente quiere lo que él vende. Jorgensen …

Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders Often Go Untreated for Parents on Medicaid | Trending Viral hub

[ad_1] Some context: Experts say bad situations can often be reversed with treatment. Both mental …

Women talk about their abortions on TikTok | Trending Viral hub

[ad_1] “Abort with me,” says a single mother from Brooklyn named Sunni as she circles …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *