Brazilian health authorities Tuesday announced the number of probable cases of dengue fever nationwide had nearly doubled since the beginning of the year compared to the same period in 2021.
According to an epidemiological bulletin released by the Health Ministry, almost 400,000 probable cases of dengue have been registered, which represents an increase of 95% compared to the same period last year. So far this year, there are 184 cases for every 100,000 inhabitants.
Federal Council of Medicine Vice President Rosylane Rocha said two factors accounted for the increase: First - dengue is a seasonal disease, with a higher incidence in periods of rain and heat, and this year many regions have had higher-than-expected rainfalls which have favored the accumulation of water, a situation that is favorable to the emergence of foci of the mosquito vector.
The other reason would be that fear of COVID-19 made people seek medical attention, increasing the official records of dengue cases since both diseases have similar symptoms at their early stages.
The bulletin also confirmed that 112 people have died of dengue, out of 280 who developed the fever, with most cases detected in the states of São Paulo, followed by Goiás, Bahia, Santa Catarina, and Minas Gerais. Another 170 deaths are still under investigation and may be associated with dengue, it was reported.
Meanwhile, Brazil's National Council of Health Secretaries (Conass) and the National Council of Municipal Health Secretaries (Conasems) Tuesday sent a letter to the Health Ministry questioning the abrupt end of the COVID-19 public emergency.
Many State and municipal bylaws were dependent on the federal declaration of emergency and will now need to be reassessed, including the hiring of healthcare staff and contracts with suppliers.
It is imperative to readjust the services and the relocation of professionals, in addition to the adjustment of contracts already signed and which are in progress, which will require considerable effort from municipalities and states, which cannot be completed in a short period of time, says the letter.
The medical groupings insisted that the pandemic was not over. Hence the need to keep up policies to combat the circulation of the virus, expand vaccination, and mitigate new infections.
In a note to Agência Brasil, the Ministry of Health insisted no public policy would be interrupted by the measure.