What is dengue fever causing panic in Brazil?

Two days before the 2024 edition of the Rio Carnival, a threat is looming over the country. A threat that risks damaging one of the world’s most publicized events during which samba schools compete for the honor of being champion of the year. Brazil’s two most populous cities, Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo, have announced measures to combat an explosion in dengue cases.

The first, for example, declared a public health emergency earlier in the week. Authorities also announced the opening of ten care centers to decongest hospitals. For another, he inaugurated an on-site emergency operations center to monitor the progress of the disease in the city, which is Latin America’s largest megalopolis.

As the World Health Organization reminds us, dengue is a viral infection that spreads from mosquitoes to humans. Currently, its incidence is increasing significantly, which now places it in the category of so-called “re-emerging” diseases. While most people have no symptoms, some infected people may experience fever, headache, body aches, nausea, and skin rashes.

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Dengue can be fatal

Typically, most patients recover within 1 to 2 weeks but some may develop severe dengue and be hospitalized. In the most severe cases, dengue can be fatal. So to avoid dengue fever, a disease that is present in all tropical regions, experts advise to protect yourself from mosquito bites by using clothing that covers the body as much as possible; Equip yourself with a mosquito net, ideally with repellents or mosquito repellents (containing DEET, icaridin or IR3535).

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As a reminder, if you have dengue, it is important to rest, drink plenty of fluids, use acetaminophen (paracetamol) for pain relief, avoid non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen and aspirin, even if severe symptoms are present. And if you notice any, contact your doctor immediately. Note that Brazil plans to launch a mass vaccination campaign soon. The country is the first to offer a dengue vaccine in the public health system, a product approved by local authorities in March 2023.

This year, the city of Rio de Janeiro has already reported more than 11,200 cases of dengue, according to the municipality’s epidemiological watchdog, compared to about 23,000 in all of 2023. According to WHO’s current estimates, there may be dengue. 50 to 100 million cases per year worldwide.

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