Paraguay’s health authorities have reported that sixteen people have died of dengue disease since the beginning of the year, ten directly infected and the other six as a consequence of other complications.
In total 13.048 cases have been reported by the country’s Health Vigilance Department, of which 1.092 new cases. Asuncion the capital has 8.633 cases which is equivalent to 67% of the total reported by health officials.
However there is some good news also because the intense fumigation campaign in different neighbourhoods particularly those with the highest incidence of the mosquito transmitted disease have seen the number of larvae drop dramatically, said the authorities.
The fumigation is carried out by military personnel and teams from the Agriculture Ministry Diseases Department. Dengue is endemic in Paraguay as in most tropical areas of neighbouring Brazil, Argentina and Bolivia.
Likewise the neighbouring Brazilian state of Mato Grosso do Sul has declared a dengue emergency because of the number of cases reported mainly in the capital Campo Grande.
So far 7.700 cases have been officially admitted by local sanitary authorities who describe the situation of “epidemics’ condition” since in the first 17 days of January, an average of 600 people are turning up at local hospitals and clinics with the mosquito transmitted disease symptoms
The dengue emergency decree means local health authorities can purchase all the needed elements to combat the disease as well as contract further staff to help with fumigation and others jobs without the need of going through the normal bidding process.
The Brazilian city plans to contract an extra 160 personnel to intensify the ‘clean-up’ campaign in those areas more susceptible of having stagnant water where the Aedes Aegypti mosquito larvae breed
Campo Grande mayor Alcides Bernal admitted the situation was very serious and assured the population that authorities were doing their utmost to combat the disease and the reasons for the epidemic.
“Public officials are doing their share. We have declared a state of emergency which allows us to act faster, but we also need the neighbours to do their part by clearing all those mosquito potential breeding places at home”, said Bernal.
Dengue most common symptoms are high fever, headaches, vomiting, dehydration and diarrhoea and skin eruptions.