The mosquito transmitted dengue disease which has ravaged Bolivia, Paraguay, North Argentina (and now threatens Buenos Aires) has also severely punished the Brazilian north-eastern state of Bahía where in the first quarter of this year, 40.000 cases have been confirmed and 32 deaths.
The numbers were released over the weekend by Bahía health authorities that have requested aid from the federal government given the extent and epidemic conditions of the disease and which seem to have increased in the last few weeks.
Up to two weeks ago the official number of confirmed cases was 32.000, but in some cities and locations the disease after having peaked some time ago has returned. Such is the case of Itabuma, with 210.000 inhabitants which has 9.000 confirmed cases and nine deaths reported.
However in Salvador, Bahía’s capital 352 cases have been confirmed and no deaths.
A tropical disease that proliferates during the rainy season and can be particularly serious if there’s no control of stagnant water where the Aedes Aegypti larvae breed and multiply causes head ache, fever, muscle pain, vomiting, and diarrhoea and needs rest and clean water and food. The disease takes approximately ten days to hatch, but vulnerable population, children and elderly need extra care.
The latest report from the Brazilian federal Health ministry identified the state of Bahia as the region with the highest incidence of the disease so far this year. Dengue in many states of Brazil is endemic.
Nonetheless, it also points out that the number of dengue cases confirmed this year nationwide is 28.6% lower than the number registered in the first quarter of 2008, when the number reached 160,137.
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