Health officials in Minas Gerais state have reported over 444,920 suspected cases of dengue fever as of Tuesday, July 16. Officials have also confirmed the outbreak has resulted in at least 117 deaths statewide, with an additional 126 fatal cases under investigation.
The highest number of fatal cases was recorded in Betim at 18 deaths, while Belo Horizonte and Uberlândia recorded 17 and 16 associated deaths, respectively. Authorities are continuing to implement public health measures, including fumigation campaigns aimed at eliminating mosquito breeding grounds, to hinder the further spread of the disease.
Governor Romeu Zema declared a public health emergency in the state of Minas Gerais on April 23 due to the ongoing dengue outbreak. The 2019 outbreak is now considered the largest ever recorded in Minas Gerais; the second largest was 2016, which holds the record for most associated deaths at 208.
In 2019, deaths have been recorded in Betim, Belo Horizonte, Uberlândia, Contagem, Unaí, Arcos, Frutal, Ibirité, Paracatu, Curvelo, João Monlevade, João Pinheiro, Lagoa da Prata, Martinho Campos, Passos, São Gonçalo do Pará, Uberaba, Vazante, Patos de Minas, Rio Paranaíba, and São Gotardo.
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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