Governor Romeu Zema declared a public health emergency in the state of Minas Gerais on Tuesday, April 23, due to an ongoing outbreak of dengue fever. Officials have recorded over 140,000 cases statewide as of late April; the state recorded 29,369 cases during the same period a year prior. At least 14 people have died as a result of the disease. The emergency declaration - active through June 30 - allocates BRL 4 million to address the outbreak across 93 municipalities, including in Belo Horizonte.
Dengue fever is a mosquito-borne disease found mostly in urban and semi-urban areas. Symptoms include fever, headache, muscle and joint pain, fatigue, nausea, and rash. In a small number of cases, the potentially deadly dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) may develop, resulting in internal bleeding, enlargement of the liver, and high fever.
Individuals present in Minas Gerais state are advised to take measures to protect themselves from mosquito bites (e.g. by wearing covering clothing, using insect repellent, and sleeping in a screened-in or air-conditioned room) and to eliminate possible mosquito breeding grounds on their properties (e.g. small pockets of fresh water, such as rainwater that has collected in cans, bottles, tires, flower pots, clogged gutters, etc.).
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