Dengue cases in America rise

Dengue cases in America rise

Dengue cases in America rise

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MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Dengue cases in the Americas rose in the first three months of this year by three times the number of infections reported in the same period last year, the head of the Pan American Health Organization said on Thursday.

Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay are the countries hardest hit by dengue in what PAHO officials described as potentially the worst outbreak in the Americas to date for the deadly mosquito-borne viral illness.

"Probably this will be the worst dengue season that we will have," PAHO director Dr. Jarbas Barbosa da Silva told a webcast press conference
PAHO, a United Nations agency, has confirmed more than 3.5 million cases of dengue and over 1,000 deaths this year through March across the Americas.

Barbosa da Silva said the entire region saw around 4.5 million reported cases in all of 2023, which he said puts the Americas on track for its highest-ever number of cases this year.

Around 4 billion people, or about half the world's population, live in areas with a risk of contracting dengue, according to data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Barbosa da Silva stressed that the jump in infections should prompt public health officials across the region to "redouble our efforts" to better address the outbreak with vector control plus personnel training to detect the most severe symptoms that patients present.

Dengue symptoms include fever, headaches, vomiting, skin rashes, as well as muscle and joint pain. In some cases, it can cause more severe hemorrhagic fever, resulting in bleeding that can lead to death.

Most dengue cases are usually seen between February and May, the Southern Hemisphere's late summer months.