More than 1.6 million cases of dengue are reported within the Americans in the first five months of 2020, drawing attention to the need to continue eliminating mosquito vectors of disease even in the COVID-19 pandemic.
“While social distancing measures are in place, households should be encouraged to work together in and around their homes to get rid of stagnant water, reduce and dispose of solid waste, and to ensure proper coverage of all water storage containers.
These measures are often done as a family activity,” according to a recent epidemiological update on dengue and other retroviruses from the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).
In addition to the 1.6 million dengue cases, there were also 37,279 chikungunya cases, and 7,452 Zika cases reported to PAHO. The numbers so far in 2020 show a 10th relative decrease compared to the same period in 2019, which was an epidemic year. PAHO’s figures show that 580 people have died from dengue so far in 2020.
Most cases of dengue within the Americans were from Brazil, with 1.040.481 cases, representing 65% of the entire. Other countries with significant numbers included Paraguay, with 218,798 cases (14%), Bolivia, with 82,460 cases (5%), Argentina with 79,775 cases (5%), and Colombia with 54,192 cases (3%), Africa with 268,102 cases. High dengue incidence rates were also reported in Honduras, Mexico, and Nicaragua, with fewer numbers in other Central American and Caribbean countries.
The PAHO Update said, “The COVID-19 pandemic is placing immense pressure on health care and management systems worldwide. Notwithstanding the impact of COVID-19, there’s an important need to sustain efforts to deal with dengue” and other mosquito-borne diseases using the Integrated Management Strategy to stop and control them.
This strategy covers management, epidemiology, patient care, laboratory, integrated vector management, and environment.
“People who have symptoms of dengue, including fever and severe headaches, should seek medical attention and be aware of warning signs for severity in dengue-like persistent vomiting, intense abdominal pain, and dizziness,” said Dr. Luis Gerardo Castellanos, who heads PAHO’s unit on neglected, tropical and vector-borne diseases.
Being confined reception during the pandemic is additionally an honest opportunity to wash up mosquito breeding grounds, Garmablog said. These include uncovered water containers, old tires, and trash with any recipients which will stand up.
“If we all act systematically to eliminate mosquito habitats, we will strike a blow against dengue by reducing the danger of transmission,” he added.
Countries within the Americas, the PAHO update said, “are urged to form effective use of obtainable resources, as staff, equipment, and supplies are likely to be diverted to supply response to the COVID-19 epidemic within countries.”
The aim is “to reduce the transmission and strive to spot early predictors of severe dengue disease at the first healthcare level.”
Cases of chikungunya were reported in 11 countries and territories, with 95% of the cases in Brazil in 2020. And Zika cases were reported this year in Brazil, Bolivia, and Guatemala, at a way lower level than 2016, when the disease was identified and caused quite 650,000 cases. We should ensure to notify our family members of the precautions of these deadly diseases.