Zika is a mosquito-borne virus that is new to the Americas. Since Brazil reported the first cases of local transmission of the virus in May 2015, it has spread to 21 countries and territories* of the Americas (as of 23 January 2016).
Even as the number of new cases of dengue fever continued to rise in Argentina, the Health Ministry performed a rapid about-face and disavowed a statement made on Wednesday that the outbreak constituted “an epidemic.”
The first cases of Dengue fever struck Buenos Aires City this week as a spate of outbreaks in Greater Buenos Aires and across Argentina’s northeast were labeled “an epidemic” by Health Minister Jorge Lemus.
Brazilian health authorities, who alerted the nation Monday to the rapid spread of the Zika virus, confirmed that up to now it has caused one death and that another six victims are in critical condition and under medical examination.
Jamaica's Ministry of Health is urging people to be more vigilant and to clean up their environment and destroy mosquito breeding sites, in light of the announcement by the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) that the Zika virus has been detected in a Caribbean Community (CARICOM) nation.
Following reports of suspected Zika virus in Brazil, the health ministries of several Caribbean countries have issued advisories for the mosquito borne viral disease.On Thursday, the Jamaica Health Ministry issued an epidemiological alert after the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) noted the potential spread of this arbovirus across territories where the vectors (Aedes) are present.
Dengue cases in Brazil rose by 57% in January, an increase that the Brazilian government partially attributed to the water crisis in the country's southeastern region. In the first four weeks of the year, Brazil registered 40,196 cases of dengue, compared with 26,017 in the same period of 2014, the Brazilian Health Ministry said.
A study by Brazilian experts calculates that, in the worst case scenario, just 100 of the 600,000 foreign tourists who will visit Brazil during the World Cup soccer tourney scheduled to begin in June, or less than 0.02% of the total visitors, will contract dengue during their stay in the country.
The United Kingdom has issued a new health advisory for Britons travelling to the Caribbean following a surge in the incidence of dengue fever in England. The steep rise in British cases of the mosquito-borne disease has forced the health agency Public Health England (PHE) to warn travelers to be on the alert for signs of the illness after visiting the Caribbean.
At least 573 people have died from dengue in Brazil so far this year, nearly twice the figure reported in 2012, according to official figures released Wednesday. Last year, 292 deaths were recorded and 473 in 2011, according to the health ministry.