Dengue viral infection, which is also known as break-bone fever, can be carried from mosquitoes to people. Tropical and subtropical climates are more prone to Dengue infection, and for now, the South American country Peru is going through a very harsh situation regarding the spread of the disease.
Peru is even dealing with its worst dengue outbreak ever, with over 130,000 recorded cases and a death toll surpassing 200 people, as the New York Post reveals. The El Niño climate phenomenon, which is characterized by heavy rains and mosquito proliferation, is amplifying the situation.
What are the symptoms of Dengue fever?
Dengue fever, which is a mosquito-borne tropical disease, is able to induce high fever, headaches, joint pain, and even death to the patient. Peruvian health authorities attribute the surge in cases to El Niño’s impact, which leads to increased rainfall and the accumulation of stagnant water, ideal breeding grounds for mosquitoes.
In response, authorities are trying to prevent the reproduction of mosquitoes by urging residents not to store standing water in open containers. The health ministry has even declared a two-month state of emergency in 18 regions to address the imminent danger posed by heavy rainfall. Peru’s health minister emphasizes the need to eliminate mosquito breeding sites to combat the threat of Dengue.
Ojo Publico journalists wrote in late May, according to The Telegraph:
The Peru-Korea Santa Rosa Friendship Hospital, one of the most important in the entire region, collapsed and had to care for the sick in motorcycle taxis, vehicles, benches, and wheelchairs; that is, in the corridors and also on the street.
While Dengue is usually a mild illness, about 5% of cases can escalate to severe disease, leading to symptoms such as shock, severe bleeding, and organ damage. In the case of untreated patients, the mortality rate for Dengue can reach as high as 13%, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).