Latin America on High Alert Against Mosquitoes Latin America on High Alert Against Mosquitoes

Latin America on High Alert Against Mosquitoes

by Ann Marie Gardner

January 22, 2011

Across Latin America—from Peru to Bolivia to Honduras—dengue fever is conducting a stealth attack, causing almost 1.5 million deaths last year. MercoPress reports that Bolivia is on high alert after 17 people were stricken already this year and 50,000 last year resulting in more than 22 deaths.

The World Health Organization describes the disease: 

Dengue is transmitted by the bite of an Aedes mosquito infected with any one of the four dengue viruses. It occurs in tropical and sub-tropical areas of the world. Symptoms appear 3—14 days after the infective bite.  Symptoms range from a mild fever, to incapacitating high fever, with severe headache, pain behind the eyes, muscle and joint pain, and rash

The severe form of Dengue fever results in hemorrhagic fever which can destroy organs and can cause bleeding. Mercosur reports that Brazil has already spent $640 million buying dengue medicine, fumigation vehicles, and larvicide, an insecticide used against mosquitoes, and education material. And that Honduras, with 83 deaths and 66,000 confirmed cases last year (3,099 of them hemorrhagic) launched a campaign today to try and prevent deaths from dengue.

Photo (cc) by Flickr gromgull

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Latin America on High Alert Against Mosquitoes