News Alerts

14 Jul 2018 | 06:07 PM UTC

Brazil: Widespread risk of mosquito-borne disease /update 2

Brazil News Alert

Risk of contracting mosquito-borne diseases dengue fever, Zika virus, and chikungunya; take precautions against mosquitoes

TIMEFRAME expected from 6/27/2018, 12:00 AM until 7/11/2018, 11:59 PM (Brazil/East). COUNTRY/REGION Brazil

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Event

The Brazilian Ministry of Health has warned that as of July 2018, outbreaks of dengue fever, Zika virus, and chikungunya are ongoing in large parts of the country. According to the most recent statistics released by the ministry, in the first 25 weeks of 2018 (period ending June 24), a total of 85,658 confirmed cases of dengue fever, including 77 associated deaths, were reported nationwide; the most affected areas include Midwest, Southeast, and Southwest areas. During the same period, 185,854 confirmed or suspected cases of chikungunya were reported, including 42 suspected deaths; over 54 percent of cases were reported in the Southeast. Finally, a total of 5401 cases of the Zika virus were reported, with the highest case numbers registered in the Southeast, Southwest, Northeast, Midwest, and South areas.

Context

Symptoms of dengue fever include fever, headache, muscle and joint pain, fatigue, nausea, and rashes. Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever (DHF) is a potentially deadly complication that is characterized by high fever, the enlargement of the liver, and hemorrhaging.

Symptoms of chikungunya are similar; the virus is infrequently fatal but potentially debilitating joint pain can last for weeks, even months, after the initial recovery.

Symptoms of Zika - fever, headache (behind the eyes), conjunctivitis, rash, vomiting, and muscle and joint pain - can appear two to seven days following contraction of the disease, although the virus is asymptomatic in approximately 80 percent of cases. Transmission of the virus is also possible via sexual intercourse. Although the Zika virus is usually relatively benign, links between it and severe birth defects as well as the potentially fatal neurological disorder Guillain-Barre syndrome (GBS) have been established.

Advice

Individuals present in Brazil - in particular pregnant women and their partners - are advised to take measures to protect themselves from mosquito bites (e.g. by wearing covering clothing, using insect repellent, and sleeping in screened-in or air conditioned rooms) and to eliminate possible mosquito breeding grounds (small pockets of fresh water, such as rain water that has collected in cans, bottles, tires, flower pots, clogged gutters, etc.).

 

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