Dengue outbreak could be the worst in history, says WHO – 03/28/2024 – Balance and Health

Dengue outbreak could be the worst in history, says WHO – 03/28/2024 – Balance and Health


This year’s dengue epidemic could be the worst in history, declared the WHO (World Health Organization) this Thursday (28).

During an interview with journalists, the organization reported that, as of March 26, 3.5 million cases of dengue fever had been recorded in the Americas, including more than a thousand deaths. The data worries the entity, which highlighted that the number of cases represents three times what was reported in the same period in 2023.

During the entire last year, 4.5 million cases were recorded in the region. Sylvain Aldighieri, director of the department of prevention, control and elimination of diseases at PAHO, the Pan-American arm of the WHO, states that the data shows that the year 2024 should concentrate the largest number of cases registered at the regional level.

The WHO states that the increase in cases is observed throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, but three countries lead a more worrying situation in the disease scenario: Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina, which represent 92% of cases and 87% of related deaths. to the virus.

The organization recalls that the disease follows a seasonal pattern and, therefore, most of its transmission occurs in the first half of the year. “In the south, the first months of the year correspond to the hottest and rainiest season, when there is greater circulation of the main dengue vector, the mosquito Aedes toEgypt“, said Jarbas Barbosa, director of Opas.

The entity also explains that, currently, there are four serotypes of the virus, and the circulation of two or more of them can increase the risk of epidemics and serious forms of dengue. At least 21 countries in the Americas reported the circulation of more than one type.

“We also observed the presence of the mosquito vector and cases in geographic areas where endemic transmission had not previously been observed, meaning that some countries may not be prepared to deal with an increase in transmission.”

Barbosa warned that the dengue vaccine, which was developed and has been used in Brazil since the beginning of February, will not solve the problem in the short term. This is because the available vaccine requires two doses and a three-month interval between one dose and the other.

“Studies show that eight years of vaccination could have an impact on dengue transmission. The greatest control tool continues to be the elimination of mosquito breeders, whether in people’s homes or in public environments such as parks, squares and businesses” , said the director.

The organization reiterates that climate change can favor the dispersion of the mosquito vector of the disease, such as storms and floods.

The El Niño phenomenon may contribute to the increase in the disease. “We often see spikes in dengue transmission during these years due to climate variations. But social determinants such as rapid population growth and unplanned urbanization can also drive the spread of dengue.”


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