Don’t Meet Me In Rio! Record NumberOf Dengue Fever Cases Reported In Brazilian Megapolis.

File photo. Dengue fever is spread by mosquitos and is potentially deady.
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Health authorities in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil are reporting record hospitalizations of patients with dengue fever, Agencia Brasil reported Friday.

In just one day in January, Rio de Janeiro’s municipal health network had 362 people admitted with the condition, thus surpassing the previous record dating back to 2008.

Municipal Health Secretary Daniel Soranz confirmed that the city was facing an epidemic of the disease.

“A sustained increase in the number of cases over the course of the month, with repercussions on the healthcare network, is the hallmark of a classic epidemic. So there’s no reason why we can’t sound the alarm and say that this is a real epidemiological scenario. We are in a dengue epidemic in the city of Rio de Janeiro,” said Soranz.

In January this year, the city had around 10,000 cases of the disease – an incidence rate of 160.68 per 100,000 inhabitants. This represents almost half of all 22,959 records in 2023. There have been no confirmed deaths this year. Three deaths are under investigation.

One concern for the authorities is that the curve of cases, which historically has the worst scenarios between March and May, already showed a steep incline in January, surpassing the incidences of past epidemics. “We’ll probably have a worse scenario in 2024,” Rio de Janeiro Mayor Eduardo Paes projected.

The Health Department attributes this behavior to the increase in temperature and the large amount of rain. “In the heat, the mosquito is born much more quickly, and the rainy season encourages the accumulation of water and more breeding sites for the mosquito,” Soranz went on.

Rio’s city hall has announced a series of measures to prevent and combat dengue fever and to assist the sick. Starting next Monday, 10 centers will gradually be opened, depending on the growth in the number of cases. In addition, 150 treatment and hydration centers will be set up in health units.

“Hydration is the most efficient remedy for dengue treatment,” said Paes. Another initiative is the compulsory inspection of closed or abandoned properties. “But this is an exceptional measure” because “we’re not going to be able to get into every abandoned lot in the city.”

“If the population doesn’t work together, dengue fever will spread, the number of cases will increase and people will die,” he insisted.

In the State of Rio de Janeiro, 17,437 probable cases of dengue were recorded in the first four weeks of 2024, against 1,441 notifications in the same period last year.

Federal Health Minister Nísia Trindade announced Thursday the launch of an Emergency Operations Center to control the dengue epidemic in Brazil in addition to distributing the Japanese-developed dengue vaccine to 521 municipalities.

Source: Agencia Brasil.
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