Dengue cases in Argentina rise by 2,546% compared with 2023

Health authorities reported the spike days after the Pan-American Health Organization sounded the alarm over rising case numbers in the Americas

Argentina’s health authorities detected 40,137 cases of dengue in the first seven epidemiological weeks of 2024 — 2,546% more than during the same period of 2023.

The spike in cases of the mosquito-borne disease reflects the peak season starting sooner, but epidemiologists also warned they had detected cases throughout the year, including in winter, when the disease usually subsides.

The Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO) issued an epidemiological alert on February 16 warning of skyrocketing case counts regionally. 

“Considering the number of dengue cases reported in the first weeks of 2024, with an exponential increase in several countries of the Americas, following a year in which the highest number of dengue cases reported in recent decades was recorded in the Americas, the PAHO reiterates to Member States the importance of intensifying efforts and actions to control the Aedes aegypti mosquito (the main vector of transmission), in addition to continuing with surveillance, early diagnosis, and the timely treatment of dengue cases,” the alert read.

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Public health experts have warned that climate change is driving worsening outbreaks of the disease. Dengue cases tend to increase as the weather gets warmer, creating ideal conditions for mosquito larvae to grow.

“Climate change and rising temperatures favor mosquitos reproducing more,” biochemist and CONICET researcher Daniela Hozbor told Radio Provincia. “In the north east of the country there were cases all year, so we have to be attentive.

Dengue vaccine in Argentina

“The dengue vaccine has to protect against the four serotypes,” Hozbor continued. “Serious illness happens when you have a second infection with a different variant from the first. In Argentina, a Japanese vaccine is authorized. It is safe and recommended for those between 4 and 60. It’s available in the private sector for now.”

In Argentina’s 2023-2024 dengue season to date, 57,210 cases have been detected. The vast majority of patients caught the disease in the country, and 38 people have died.

Dengue, also known as break-bone fever because of the intense muscular pain some sufferers experience, is a viral infection transmitted to humans through the bite of infected mosquitoes. It is typically found in tropical and sub-tropical climates worldwide, mostly in urban and semi-urban areas, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

Most people who get dengue don’t have symptoms. However, those who do can experience high fever, headache, body aches, nausea and rash. Recovery usually takes 1–2 weeks.

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