June 16, 2024

Dengue Fever: A Growing Health Threat in the Americas with Record-Breaking Cases in Puerto Rico and Beyond

1 min read
Puerto Rico Experiences Public Health Crisis with Surge in Dengue Cases

This year, dengue fever has become a major health concern in the Americas, with cases surpassing historical records. Puerto Rico has declared a public health emergency over the mosquito-borne illness, which has affected 549 people across the U.S. territory of 3.2 million people. Almost half of the cases have been reported in San Juan, the capital city.

Dengue fever, also known as “breakbone fever,” can cause severe symptoms such as headaches, soreness, fever, and rashes – and in extreme cases, death. Health Secretary Carlos Mellado stated that this year’s cases have exceeded previous records.

The emergency declaration will make it easier for Puerto Rico’s health department to access funding for detection and prevention efforts. While travel to or from Puerto Rico remains unaffected at this time, tourists should be aware of the potential dangers posed by mosquito-borne illnesses and take precautions to protect themselves from bites.

Major outbreaks of dengue have occurred throughout large swathes of South America this year, including countries such as Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil, and Peru. Last year, parts of Florida were placed under a mosquito-borne illness alert due to dengue. It is important for travelers to stay informed about any potential health risks when planning trips abroad and take necessary precautions to safeguard their health while traveling.

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