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Latin America rebounds with dengue cases

PAHO announced that so far in 2024, 8,1 million infections and 3.648 deaths have been reported

From the first week of 2024 to date, 8.140.210 cases of dengue and 3.648 deaths from the disease have been reported in Latin America and the Caribbean, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) reported this Friday.

During a teleconference, the director of the agency's Department of Prevention of Communicable Diseases, Sylvain Aldighieri, asserted that “2024 runs a great risk of being the year of dengue with the highest number of cases documented so far.”

He specified that 98% of the new cases are registered in Brazil with 6.803.727, followed by Argentina with 475.743, Paraguay 266.816 and Peru 222.950. Regarding deaths, he indicated that Brazil has 2.897 deaths, Argentina 325 and Peru 174, according to international media.

PAHO urged countries to adopt measures to stop the epidemic. In this sense, he emphasized that surveillance, triage, diagnosis and timely and adequate management of cases must be strengthened.

Climate spreads mosquito

At the PAHO conference, Beatriz García Nice, a specialist at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, explained that experts warn that large dengue outbreaks could be the norm in the future as climate change causes more rainy seasons. long and warm.

In this sense, the director of the Butantán Institute of Brazil, Esper Georges Kallás, stated that the spread of the disease shows that the transmitting mosquito is very resilient.

He added that the socioeconomic conditions in which sectors of the population live play a role in the spread of the disease and contribute to an exponential growth in infections.

virus disease

Dengue is a viral disease caused by Aedes aegypti, which is a domestic mosquito that reproduces in any artificial or natural container that contains water.
The most common symptoms among infected people are headache, pain in the muscles, eyes, bones and joints; nausea, vomiting, skin rashes and swollen glands.

Meanwhile, in severe cases, severe abdominal pain, difficulty breathing, cold or clammy skin, fatigue, irritability, and blood in urine, stool, or vomit may occur.

Doctors recommend some drugs for patients, depending on the case, and they also point out that they should rest and drink plenty of fluids. This is complemented by the environment in which the person is treated, such as keeping the environment clean and free of mosquitoes.

Specialists assure that if symptoms worsen, you should go to the doctor again for a check-up.

Anti-dengue vaccines

In the race against dengue, pharmaceutical companies have been developing dengue vaccines in recent years and one of them has been CYD-TDV, manufactured by Sanofi Pasteur and marketed under the name Dengvaxia.

This vaccine was the first prequalified on the WHO list of medicines and is indicated for the severe prevention of the disease from the age of nine. This preparation for immunization was approved for the first time in Mexico in 2015.

It is administered in countries in the region, including Mexico, Brazil, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Paraguay, Guatemala and Peru, but also in Asian nations.

On May 10, the WHO announced the second prequalified vaccine. This is Tak-003, also known as Qdenga, and was developed by the Japanese company Takeda.

Tak-003 is a live attenuated vaccine that contains weakened versions of the four serotypes of the virus that cause dengue. It is indicated for children from 4 years old to 16 years old who live in endemic areas or where the disease is a public health issue.

“With only two dengue vaccines prequalified to date, we hope that more developers will submit vaccines for evaluation, so that we can get them to all the communities that need them,” said Rogerio Gaspar, director of Regulatory and Prequalification of the WHO, the entity refers to on its web portal.

The expert affirms that prequalification is an important step in the expansion of global access to dengue vaccines, because once its approval is obtained, it can be purchased by United Nations organizations, such as Unicef.

Recommendations

  • Avoid hatcheries. In order not to promote the proliferation of the Aedes aegypti mosquito, collecting water in outdoor containers (pots, bottles or other containers that can collect water) should be avoided so that they do not become places for mosquito reproduction; properly cover water tanks and reservoirs to keep mosquitoes away; avoid accumulating garbage; throw garbage in closed plastic bags.
  • Use of repellents. The mosquito is most active in the morning and evening, so these are the periods of highest risk of bites. During these times they recommend using repellents. However, females, who need to continue feeding, will look for a blood source at other times.
  • Mosquito nets. Experts recommend using these screens on doors and windows.
  • Wear light clothing. Cover arms and legs, especially during outdoor activities.

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