Bolivia has been hit by a major outbreak of dengue fever. Authorities have reported thousands of infections and more than 25 deaths since the beginning of the year. Hospitals, especially in the Santa Cruz department in the east of the South American country, which was particularly hard hit, were reaching their limits, the Bolivian news agency "ABI" reported, citing health authorities.
Dozens more hospital beds would now be made available in Santa Cruz, and additional doctors and nursing staff would be deployed. Children are particularly affected, it said. In Santa Cruz de la Sierra, the capital of the department, more than half of the dengue patients in the clinics are minors.
According to the travel and safety information from the Federal Foreign Office in Berlin, the number of dengue cases is currently twice as high as in the previous year in Bolivia. Dengue viruses can therefore be transmitted in large parts of the country by diurnal Aedes mosquitoes.
The disease is usually accompanied by fever, skin rash and severe body aches. Serious complications can occur, especially in children. Dengue occurs in the tropics and subtropics of all continents. According to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), three billion people live in dengue risk areas.