Health officials in the French overseas department (DOM) of Réunion reported 6476 confirmed locally acquired cases of dengue fever between January 1 and August 24. At least 138 people have required hospitalization and three related fatalities have been reported. However, transmission rates seem to be slightly declining, with the number of new cases per week decreasing since mid-July. Anti-mosquito efforts continue, particularly in Le Port, Saint-Leu, La Possession, and Saint-Louis.
The current outbreak is the largest reported in the department since the 1970s. 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.
Individuals in Réunion are advised to take measures to protect themselves from mosquito bites - e.g. by wearing covering clothing, using insect repellent, and sleeping under mosquito netting or in an air-conditioned room - and to eliminate possible mosquito breeding grounds (small pockets of fresh water, such as rainwater that has collected in cans, bottles, tires, flower pots, clogged gutters, etc.).
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