Dengue fever surges in Brazil, signals health risk for the Americas

In a significant health concern, Brazil faces a severe dengue fever outbreak, with the disease poised to spread throughout the Americas.

Stephanie Nolen reports for The New York Times.


In short:

  • Brazil anticipates more than 4.2 million dengue cases this year, exceeding last year's total for the entire Americas region.
  • Factors like El Niño, climate change, and increased mosquito breeding sites are exacerbating the outbreak.
  • The virus is expected to spread across continents, with higher risks in areas like Puerto Rico and the southern United States.

Key quote:

“When you’re looking at trends in numbers of cases in the Americas, it’s scary. It’s been increasing consistently.”

— Dr. Gabriela Paz-Bailey, chief of the Dengue Branch at the CDC.

Why this matters:

This dengue outbreak is a reminder of the need for urgent action in disease surveillance and prevention, particularly as the virus threatens to affect larger populations in the Americas, potentially leading to significant health challenges.

Zika, Dengue fever, West Nile disease, parasitic screw worms—all contracted from vectors attracted to the increasing heat and humidity—are infesting neighborhoods in the U.S. too.

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