Health: Rapid increase in dengue infections in Brazil

Dengue fever is currently spreading at an unusually high rate in Brazil.

Health: Rapid increase in dengue infections in Brazil

Dengue fever is currently spreading at an unusually high rate in Brazil. In the first two months of the year, 1,017,278 confirmed or probable infections were counted in the South American country, the Ministry of Health announced.

That is almost five times as many cases as in the same period last year (207,475). In addition, the health authorities counted 214 confirmed deaths, and 687 others are still being investigated for a connection with the dengue virus. Six states and the Capital District have declared public health emergencies.

Case numbers are also increasing in other countries

The heavy rains and high temperatures of the past few months are likely to be the trigger for the sharp increase. The yellow fever mosquito (Aedes aegypti), which transmits dengue viruses, can develop particularly well under these conditions. The massive spread of dengue fever has also reached other countries on the continent: At the beginning of the week, the Peruvian government declared a state of emergency for most of the country. The number of cases has also recently increased significantly in Argentina.

In order to contain the spread of the disease, the Brazilian Ministry of Health has declared a "D-Day" for this Saturday. On this day, people all over the country should help fight mosquitoes by draining breeding sites such as flower pot saucers. In addition, a vaccination campaign with a new vaccine against dengue fever began in Brazil in February.

Dengue fever - sometimes called "bone-breaking disease" because of the severe pain associated with it - is widespread in the tropics and subtropics. However, the course is often mild and not everyone infected shows symptoms.

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