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Wednesday April 17, 2024

Epidemic: Dengue outbreak forces imposition of health emergency in US territory

As many as 549 cases have been reported in the island of 3.2 million people

By Web Desk
March 27, 2024
Representational image. — AFP/File
Representational image. — AFP/File

Officials in the US territory of Puerto Rico have declared an epidemic after a massive rise in dengue infections, Time.com reported.

As many as 549 cases have been reported in the island of 3.2 million people and around half of the infections have been detected in San Juan.

Dengue, also known as breakbone fever, can cause soreness, fever, rashes, headaches. In extreme circumstances, it can also cause death.

The health department said more than 340 people have been hospitalized for the mosquito-borne virus. The island nation last declared dengue an epidemic in 2012.

AP reported that the The World Health Organisation said that over five million dengue infections were reported across the globe in 2023. Around 80% of the cases were reported in the Western Hemisphere.

The region is getting more cases this year due to heavy rainfall, humidity, and heat, all linked to climate change.

“This year, cases of dengue have surpassed historical records,” Health Secretary Carlos Mellado said in a statement.

The secretary noted that the imposition of an emergency does not prohibit travel, but will allow the health department to access funding for detection and prevention.