Dengue Cases on the Rise in Puerto Rico, Prompts Public Health Emergency Declaration

Rising Dengue Cases Prompt Public Health Emergency Declaration in Puerto Rico

This year, dengue outbreaks have been reported in various countries across the Americas. In Puerto Rico, health officials have declared a public health emergency due to the surge of this mosquito-borne illness. The island has seen 549 cases of dengue, with nearly half of the cases concentrated in San Juan. Dengue can cause symptoms such as headaches, soreness, fever, and rashes, and in severe cases, can lead to death.

Carlos Mellado, Puerto Rico’s Health Secretary stated that this year’s cases of dengue have exceeded historical records. Despite this declaration of a public health emergency, travel to or from Puerto Rico will not be immediately impacted. However, it will allow the health department to access funding more easily for detection and prevention efforts.

The United States has also been on alert for mosquito-borne illnesses like dengue in parts of Florida last year. While other countries such as Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil and Peru have also reported outbreaks this year. Dengue is known as “breakbone fever” because of its ability to cause joint pain and discomfort in addition to its other symptoms. It’s important for travelers to take precautions when visiting areas where dengue is prevalent by using insect repellent and wearing long sleeves and pants to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes.

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