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Dengue patients are on the rise in Brazil. “In Rio de Janeiro we can already talk about an epidemic”

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It is time for the entire country to unite against dengue – appeals the Brazilian Minister of Health, because over 350,000 infections have already been recorded since the beginning of the year. This is four times more than in the whole of last year. Dengue is a tropical disease transmitted by mosquitoes. It is worth knowing what its symptoms are and how to protect yourself against infection. Especially when planning a trip to beautiful Brazilian beaches.

Every Rio Carnival participant – in addition to light clothing – should have something against mosquitoes this year. Dengue fever is raging again in Brazil. It is an infectious tropical disease. Its course resembles a severe flu case. Symptoms include fever reaching up to 40 degrees, headaches, muscle and joint pain, a characteristic rash and sometimes difficulty moving. In extreme cases, the disease leads to life-threatening hemorrhagic fever. – Everything has been hurting for four days. The whole body hurts, even the eyes. I can’t even lift my head. I’m afraid I’ll faint, says Vilma Maria, a dengue patient.

READ ALSO: WHO: A deadly disease known from the tropics threatens Europe

Just before the start of the famous carnival, the authorities of three Brazilian states declared a state of public health emergency. Throughout the country, over 350,000 cases of dengue virus infections have been recorded since the beginning of the year. – The increase in the number of infections means that in Rio de Janeiro we can now talk about an epidemic. That’s not the first time. We have had similar epidemics in the past, explains Daniel Soranz, Rio De Janeiro’s health secretary.

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In Brazil’s largest cities, the army took to the streets to help track down the breeding grounds of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, because they transmit the virus. Their favorite breeding conditions are moisture and standing water. The risk of infection is serious, especially in overcrowded favelas. – If a mosquito bites someone in one house, it can fly up to one kilometer on average. During the two months of its life, it can infect the entire area – emphasizes Dr. Raquel Muarrek, an infectious disease specialist.

Dengue is transmitted by mosquitoesReuters Archive

A global problem

Dengue fever is raging throughout Latin America. According to WHO, the latest epidemic is the result of rising temperatures, which are followed by greater rainfall, and more rain means more mosquitoes. In 2023, half a billion dengue infections were reported worldwide. The disease killed 40,000 people. Dengue is a global problem. The virus – so far spreading mainly in South America and Asia – is becoming more and more dangerous in North America and Africa. Epidemiologists say it is the result of globalization and widespread air traffic.

READ ALSO: A public health emergency just before the famous carnival

Despite the warnings, crowds of tourists came to Brazil, as every year. – I’ve heard about the threat, but you always think it doesn’t concern you. You have to accept the risk and enjoy your vacation, emphasizes Hernan Maldonado, a tourist from Spain.

In Europe, which has so far been free of dengue, more and more cases of infection appear every year. Of course, dengue is not COVID-19. The source of the infection are types of mosquitoes that are rare on our continent, but scientists warn that global warming means that the insects carrying the dangerous virus have increasingly better conditions to develop in our part of the world.

Author:Jakub Loska

Facts about the World TVN24 BiS

Main photo source: Reuters



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