The United Nations Pan American Health Organization, PAHO, a regional arm of the UN World Health Organization, WHO, is assisting Paraguay in its efforts to control an outbreak of dengue fever that has affected thousands.
"The PAHO experts are currently working to provide technical assistance in areas including medical treatment, social communication, and health services organization," UN spokesperson, Michele Montas, told reporters in New York Thursday. The first two deaths from dengue hemorrhagic fever, a more virulent form of dengue virus infection, were reported on 20 January. Since then, thousands of cases have been reported, and in some affected regions, the number of cases this year has already exceeded the total for last year. Dengue fever is carried by the "Aedes Aegypti" mosquito, which flourishes in areas with poor sanitation and heavy rainfall. Presently, there is no vaccine or cure for dengue, which causes high fever, muscular pain, headaches, vomiting and in some cases skin rash. WHO estimates that more than 2.5 billion people are at risk of contracting dengue fever worldwide.