Puerto Rico declares public health emergency as dengue cases rise

Puerto Rico declares public health emergency as dengue cases rise post thumbnail image
Female Aedes aegypti mosquito as she was in the process of obtaining a
Feminine Aedes aegypti mosquito as she was within the technique of acquiring a “blood meal.”

Puerto Rico has declared a public well being emergency amid an ongoing outbreak of dengue infections, a mosquito-spread viral an infection that may trigger fever, aches, rash, vomiting, and, in about 5 % of circumstances, a extreme illness marked by inner bleeding and shock.

The US territory has tallied 549 circumstances for the reason that begin of the 12 months, representing a 140 percent increase in contrast with circumstances tallied at this level final 12 months, according to the territory’s health department. The Related Press reported that greater than 340 of the 549 circumstances have been hospitalized.

In 2023, the island nation of greater than 3.2 million individuals had over 1,000 circumstances of dengue all year long.

However this 12 months’s circumstances are rising quickly, main well being officers to warn residents to be vigilant and take prevention measures. That features sporting insect repellent and draining or treating any standing water the place mosquitoes can breed. The mosquitoes that transmit dengue—Aedes aegypti—appear to prefer breeding in artificial containers, equivalent to flower pots, buckets, water drums, vases, plastic containers of any form, the interior rings of discarded vehicle tires, and trash on the whole. They will breed in tiny quantities of water, equivalent to in bottle caps.

Puerto Rico’s outbreak of dengue is an element of a bigger regional development, the island’s well being division famous. Final 12 months, the Americas noticed the very best variety of dengue circumstances ever recorded, totaling 4,565,911, in line with the Pan American Well being Group (PAHO), a division of the World Well being Group. To date this 12 months, the area has reported 3,578,414 circumstances, together with 1,039 deaths.

In a December 2023 risk assessment, the PAHO deemed the chance to human well being from dengue to be “excessive” within the area. The report famous that the results of local weather change are driving larger rainfall, larger temperatures, and extra humidity, permitting A. aegypti to broaden into new areas and enhance breeding. A. aegypti are already present in a lot of South America, Central America, and the southeastern US.

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