There is a dengue well being emergency in Puerto Rico. What to know concerning the illness : NPR


Victoria Micieli, director and scientist on the Middle for Parasitological and Vector Research of the nationwide scientific analysis institute CONICET, classifies completely different species of mosquitoes at a laboratory in La Plata, in Argentina’s Buenos Aires Province, on Tuesday.

Luis Robayo/AFP by way of Getty Photographs

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Luis Robayo/AFP by way of Getty Photographs

Victoria Micieli, director and scientist on the Middle for Parasitological and Vector Research of the nationwide scientific analysis institute CONICET, classifies completely different species of mosquitoes at a laboratory in La Plata, in Argentina’s Buenos Aires Province, on Tuesday.

Luis Robayo/AFP by way of Getty Photographs

Puerto Rico has issued a public well being emergency after recording an unusually fast rise in dengue instances over the primary few months of this yr.

It is the most recent space to grapple with a surge of infections of the mosquito-borne illness, which sickens an estimated 100–400 million individuals globally annually.

In keeping with Puerto Rico’s well being division, the territory has recorded 549 instances because the begin of the yr, almost half of which have occurred within the San Juan area. Puerto Rico noticed a complete of 1,293 instances all through all of final yr, the Related Press reported.

“This yr, dengue instances have exceeded historic figures,” Puerto Rico’s well being secretary Carlos Mellado López mentioned in a press release.

Dengue has been surging elsewhere, too. Brazil has seen a dramatic uptick in dengue this yr, with a couple of million instances, whereas Peru skilled a report variety of infections final summer season. Argentina can also be on the cusp of a record-breaking dengue outbreak.

In keeping with the World Well being Group, about half of the world’s inhabitants is now in danger for the illness.

What’s dengue?

Individuals usually contract dengue by means of the chew of an Aedes mosquito contaminated with one of many 4 varieties of the dengue virus.

Most individuals with dengue will present no indicators of an infection or expertise solely delicate signs, resembling fever, muscle and joint ache and nausea. They usually get well in a single or two weeks.

In keeping with the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention, solely 1 / 4 of individuals contaminated with dengue get sick.

In uncommon instances, dengue can require hospitalization and be doubtlessly deadly. Extra extreme signs embrace bleeding gums and nostril, stomach ache and protracted vomiting.

Those that’ve gotten dengue beforehand usually tend to turn out to be critically ailing with a subsequent an infection.

Although there isn’t a particular drugs to deal with dengue, victims can take acetaminophen to regulate their fever and scale back ache.

Learn how to preserve your self protected

Roughly half of the Earth’s inhabitants might catch dengue the place they reside. Discovered mostly in tropical and subtropical climates, dengue is endemic to greater than 100 nations in Asia, Africa, the Americas and elsewhere, in accordance with the WHO, and has been spreading to components of Europe. Final yr Florida and Texas reported dengue instances.

There’s a vaccine for dengue referred to as Dengvaxia. Within the U.S., it’s authorized to be used in kids between ages 9–16 who’ve beforehand been contaminated with the illness, and in different components of the world it’s out there to adults as much as age 45.

Specialists say one of the simplest ways to keep away from contracting dengue is to stop mosquito bites.

Insect repellents resembling DEET, Picaridin and IR3535 might help preserve mosquitoes at bay. Individuals also can put on loose-fitting clothes that covers their legs and arms and use mosquito nets.

At house, individuals ought to have screens in home windows and doorways and usually dump standing water from objects like flower pots to stop mosquitoes from laying eggs.



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