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Dengue fever: Rio de Janeiro declares a health emergency

Dengue fever: Rio de Janeiro declares a health emergency

In Rio de Janeiro, the city administration has declared a health emergency due to increasing cases of dengue fever – which also affects other regions in Brazil.

Just a few days before Carnival in Rio de Janeiro, the city administration declares a health emergency due to the rapidly spreading dengue fever. The disease is transmitted by mosquitoes.

Since the beginning of 2024, more than 10,000 dengue cases have been registered in the community, which is almost half of the total 23,000 cases in 2023, reports “”. The city government of Rio de Janeiro has now announced that it will open health centers, set up an emergency center and provide a certain number of hospital beds for those suffering from fever. It also says that an insecticide will be sprayed into the air.

Dengue fever – increasing numbers in Brazil

Dengue fever is not just a problem for Rio de Janeiro. A health emergency due to the fever has also been declared in the states of Acre, Gerais, Minas, Goiás and the capital district. In the first four weeks of the year, 217,841 probable cases were registered in the South American country, the Ministry of Health said. That was more than three times as many cases as in the same period a year earlier. The health authorities also counted 15 confirmed deaths.

The heavy rains and high temperatures of the past few months are likely to be the trigger for the sharp increase. The yellow fever mosquito (Aedes aegypti), which transmits the dengue viruses, can develop particularly well under these conditions. In addition to the yellow fever mosquito, the tiger mosquito also occasionally transmits the virus.

An infection with dengue fever is manifested by high fever and severe headaches. Severe muscle, bone and limb pain also often occurs. Most sufferers recover from the infection within a few days. However, dengue fever can also lead to serious complications and death.

Climate change could also bring tropical diseases to Europe

Infected female mosquitoes transmit dengue fever to humans through a bite. The mosquito acts as a vector; it does not become ill itself, but it picks up the virus and can transmit it to humans. However, people cannot become infected with dengue fever, informs the . So far, only a few cases of dengue fever have occurred in Europe. There have not yet been any registered cases in Germany.

Due to climate change, small populations of tiger mosquitoes and yellow fever mosquitoes now also exist in southern Europe. The tiger mosquito has also settled in Germany. “This means that this vector is on site. The first step that makes transmission possible has been fulfilled,” said biologist Felix Sauer to the star. Read here to what extent higher temperatures due to climate change promote diseases that are transmitted by mosquitoes.

Source: Stern

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