Already 1 Million Infected and Hundreds Dead: An Escalating Crisis

Already 1 Million Infected and Hundreds Dead: An Escalating Crisis

In Brazil, there has been a significant and unusual surge in the instances of Dengue fever. This has been a concern for the first two months of the current year with the Ministry of Health reporting that there have been 1,017,278 confirmed or probable infections. This alarming number is almost five times higher than the cases reported during the same period the previous year, which stood at 207,475.

The health authorities in the country have also reported 214 confirmed deaths due to the disease and are currently investigating 687 more cases for any possible connection with the dengue virus. Six states in the country along with the Capital District have been forced to declare public health emergencies due to the surge in the cases.

The extreme weather conditions in the past few months, characterized by heavy rains and high temperatures, are believed to be the reason for this sharp increase in cases. The Aedes aegypti mosquito, also known as the yellow fever mosquito and responsible for transmitting the dengue virus, thrives under such conditions. The widespread nature of the disease has impacted other countries on the South American continent as well. The government in Peru was forced to declare a state of emergency in most parts of the country earlier this week due to a significant rise in dengue fever cases. Argentina is also witnessing a similar rise in the number of cases.

“D-Day” in Brazil

The Brazilian Ministry of Health, in an attempt to contain the spread of the disease, has declared a “D-Day”. This involves citizens across the country participating in mosquito control efforts by draining potential breeding sites such as flower pot saucers. Alongside these efforts, a vaccination campaign using a new vaccine against dengue fever was launched in Brazil in February.

Dengue fever, sometimes referred to as the “bone-breaking disease” due to the severe pain it causes, is a common disease in tropical and subtropical regions. However, not everyone infected with the virus will exhibit symptoms, and often, the course of the disease is mild.