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Dengue Cases Surge in the Americas, Breaking Records: Pan American Health Organization

Surge in Dengue Cases in the Americas

Surge in Dengue Cases in the Americas

The Americas witness a rapid increase in Dengue cases, reaching a new record


Dengue cases are surging in the Americas, with cases reported topping 5.2 million as of this week, surpassing a yearly record set in 2023, according to the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).

Record Dengue Cases Reported in the Americas

PAHO spokesperson Ashley Baldwin told us on Thursday that 5,214,480 cases of dengue have been reported in the Americas as of Wednesday. This number exceeds the total number of cases reported in the entire of 2023, which was 4,572,765. With this surge, the region is facing an emergency situation.

Impacted Countries and Regions

Countries in the southern hemisphere have been the hardest hit so far, with Brazil accounting for the majority of the cases. In fact, in February, Rio de Janeiro declared a state of public health emergency due to the spike in cases. Additionally, in Peru, 20 of the country’s 25 regions are currently under a health alert with over 155,000 cases reported and 146 deaths.

Preparing for Spring and Warmer Temperatures

While some South American hotspots have seen a stabilization of cases in recent weeks, PAHO warns that other countries in the region, including those in the northern hemisphere, must prepare for the arrival of spring and warmer temperatures. Baldwin informs that historically, most cases in the southern hemisphere occur in the first half of the year, while the northern hemisphere experiences higher cases in the second half. Therefore, an increase in cases in the northern hemisphere is expected in the coming months.

Causes and Recommendations

The rise in dengue cases can be attributed to several factors, including rising temperatures, extreme weather events, rapid population growth, and inadequate water and sanitation services, leading to an abundance of mosquito breeding sites. As a countermeasure, PAHO recommends implementing a strategy focused on surveillance, vector control, and clinical management.

Available Vaccines and Effects

While a vaccine for dengue is available and can help in reducing severe cases and fatalities, PAHO Director Jarbas Barbosa emphasizes that it is not a solution for immediately interrupting the outbreak. As of now, the Americas have reported 1,858 dengue-related deaths in 2024, which is fewer than the total reported last year.

About Dengue

Dengue is a mosquito-borne virus primarily spread by the Aedes aegypti mosquito. It belongs to a family of viruses that also includes yellow fever, chikungunya, and Zika. The symptoms are similar to those of the flu and can be fatal in extreme cases.

Endemic and Affected Areas

Dengue is endemic in more than 100 countries, primarily in urban and semi-urban areas in tropical and subtropical climates. It is also endemic in certain US territories, namely Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, and American Samoa.

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