MercoPress, en Español

Montevideo, April 25th 2024 - 08:58 UTC



Brazil: Dengue cases so far in 2024 surpass previous yearly figures

Wednesday, March 20th 2024 - 20:42 UTC
Full article
Most of the victims were children under 14 years of age Most of the victims were children under 14 years of age

Brazilian authorities have confirmed 1,889,206 positive cases of dengue fever so far this year, thus surpassing 2015's 1,688,688 and 2023's 1,658,816, it was reported. In addition to 630 confirmed fatalities, another 1,009 deaths are under investigation since Jan. 1 to determine whether they were caused by dengue or by another pathogen.

According to the Health Ministry, 75% of the mosquito breeding sites were found in homes, so awareness campaigns were increased and people were asked to take all precautionary measures possible.

In Sao Paulo, the incidence of dengue reached 414 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, while other regions affected by the virus include Brasilia, Paraná, Goiás, Rio de Janeiro. and Minas Gerais. Experts have argued that a strong El Niño weather phenomenon coupled with temperatures higher than usual led to the present outcome, which is projected to reach 4.2 million positive cases by Dec. 31.

As per World Health Organization (WHO) standards, an epidemic occurs whenever the infection rate exceeds 300 cases per 100,000 inhabitants.

Brazil became this year the first country to offer the dengue vaccine free of charge, albeit only to children and adolescents.

This week, the City Hall of São Paulo -South America's largest metropolis- declared a dengue emergency, following up on the steps of the States of Acre, Espírito Santo, Goiás, Minas Gerais, Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Santa Catarina, Amapá, and the Federal District (Brasilia). The city has recorded 49,721 confirmed cases and 11 casualties this year, three times as many as in all of 2023 (14,398), and almost the same number of deaths (10).

“Measures include the suspension of vacations and time off for endemic disease control agents and community health agents, environmental surveillance and the municipality's health units; joint action by community health agents and endemic disease control agents to carry out home visitation activities and other field actions to combat the Aedes aegypti mosquito,” São Paulo city authorities explained.

According to the Child Health Observatory (Observa Infância), of the state-run Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz), children top the list of dengue casualties. Observatory Coordinator Cristiano Boccolini underlined that the age group between zero and five years old accounted for the highest number of fatalities of the most severe forms of the disease, followed by the group between five and nine years old. A Fiocruz study also showed that adolescents between 10 and 14 were the ones who registered the most cases this year. Boccolini also insisted that it was important that families got their children vaccinated.

“The Health Ministry is right to vaccinate the group where we are seeing more cases. Our recommendation is that immunization be extended to the youngest children, five to nine years old, who, proportionally, are dying the most,” Boccolini said.

According to the study, as of March 9, 239,402 cases were reported nationwide in children up to 14 years of age, with the highest incidence among adolescents aged 10 to 14 years, with 24.5% in children under five years, 33.7% between five and nine years and 41.8% between 10 and 14 years. There were also 52 deaths - 16 of them confirmed and 36 under investigation - in children under 14 years of age, 44.2% of which were under five years of age, while the five to nine years age group accounted for 32.7% and the 10 to 14 years age group represented a 23.1%.

The survey also detected a 21.2% increase in the number of deaths in the tenth epidemiological week compared to the previous one.

Top Comments

Disclaimer & comment rules

Commenting for this story is now closed.
If you have a Facebook account, become a fan and comment on our Facebook Page!