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Montevideo, April 12th 2024 - 11:09 UTC

 

 

Almost all of Peru under dengue health emergency

Wednesday, February 28th 2024 - 10:51 UTC
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According to the Peruvian government, the high temperatures caused by the El Niño phenomenon cause the larvae of the mosquito that causes dengue to reproduce in greater numbers. According to the Peruvian government, the high temperatures caused by the El Niño phenomenon cause the larvae of the mosquito that causes dengue to reproduce in greater numbers.

Peruvian authorities declared a state of health emergency in 20 of the country's 25 regions due to an outbreak of dengue fever. ”Tomorrow 20 regions of the country will be declared in sanitary emergency for a period of 90 days due to (the cases of) dengue,” Prime Minister Alberto Otárola announced. The state of health emergency allows the authorities to grant a larger budget to combat the disease, among other measures.

Between January and February, 31,364 cases and 32 deaths were reported from 12,264 cases and 18 deaths in the same period of 2023.

Dengue is a disease endemic to tropical areas that causes high fever, headaches, nausea, vomiting, muscle pain, and, in the most severe cases, hemorrhages that can cause death.

“Comparing lethality rates, we are not the country with the highest lethality. There are countries like Brazil, Argentina, and Paraguay, which are in a more complex situation than ours,” Health Minister Cesar Vásquez told a press conference. Between January and February, more than 395,000 cases of dengue fever were registered in Brazil. In 2023, 445 people died of dengue in Peru where over 270,000 cases were detected. Brazil accounted for 68% of the cases in the Americas that year.

According to the Peruvian government, the high temperatures caused by the El Niño phenomenon cause the larvae of the mosquito that causes dengue to reproduce in greater numbers. The phenomenon “has generated a perfect scenario for the proliferation of this disease,” Vásquez also explained.

On Feb. 20, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) called on all governments in the region to intensify efforts and actions to control the Aedes aegypti mosquito, the main vector transmitting dengue. The World Health Organization (WHO) said there were more than 5.5 million cases and 5,000 deaths in 2023.

Vaccine

The Japanese laboratories Takeda, manufacturers of the Qdenga vaccine, will expand output through a partnership with India's Biological E, which will now produce 50 million doses of Qdenga a year, enabling it to reach its target of delivering 100 million doses by 2030, the pharmaceutical company said through a statement.

“These doses will ultimately be made available for purchase by governments of endemic countries by 2030 at the latest to support national immunization programs,” the document read.

In Brazil, Qdenga was added to the Unified Health System (SUS) in December last year and began to be distributed this month to 521 municipalities for the immunization of children and adolescents.

Argentina

The city of La Plata, the capital of the province of Buenos Aires, is going through a historic dengue epidemic. After declaring an epidemiological alert, specialists forecast that the most number of cases will be recorded next month.

“It is ongoing, but it has not yet reached the peak. It would be around the second half of March,” infectiologist Silvia González Ayala told TN.

“Taking into account the behavior of dengue recorded in recent weeks, the autochthonous viral circulation of dengue has been identified, with an exponential increase in the number of autochthonous and imported cases reported,” La Plata's Epidemiology team explained.

According to González Ayala, this critical situation is related to climate change and pointed out: “It is a snowball effect. Infected eggs persist from one season to the next, [and] mosquito populations increase because there is no sustained work on prevention.”

“From Jan. 10 onwards, residents from endemic areas return home sick or get sick upon arrival, and local transmission is established,” she added.

“In the province of Buenos Aires today is the highest peak of cases than the highest historical one,” Buenos Aires Health Minister Nicolás Kreplak said. The virus is expected to stay in the province until temperatures drop below 27° C, he also explained. “This is going to get worse,” he also warned.

According to some press reports, laboratory tests are no longer performed given the current caseload, and physicians issue dengue diagnoses according to the patient's symptoms. In La Plata, laboratory studies are performed in all cases considered severe and atypical.

In the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires, 14-year-old Yair Rodríguez Pereyra from Río Cuarto, Córdoba, who played football at Vélez Sarsfield's junior divisions, died Tuesday. “On Saturday he tested positive for dengue,” Vélez's junior coach Ariel Zárate was quoted as saying.

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