A matter of concern is the increase in dengue cases in Brazil. From January to April, the number has already surpassed that of the entire previous year.
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Brazil has had very rainy and very hot days in recent months. It is the perfect climate for Aedes aegypti to breed. In stagnant water forgotten in every corner, breeding sites multiplied across the country, and the outbreak of the disease came.
From early January to April 30, there were more than 654,000 probable cases of dengue. It is much more than recorded in the whole of last year.
The spread of the disease also worries experts. The situation is worse today in the Midwest, which normally suffers more from the disease and had a growth of 272% compared to the same period in 2021.
Then comes the South region, where the incidence has always been lower, but now records an increase of 263% in cases.
Infectologist Celso Granato says that this could be influenced by climate change.
“Dengue was a very concentrated disease in the Northeast and Midwest, places with more stable temperatures. Over the last 20 years, it has increasingly reached the Southeast and South regions. This has to do with heating and rainfall,” explains Granato.
Fiocruz researcher Ademir Martins says that the increase is not surprising. He believes that a underreporting of cases in recent years, because the attention was all on the coronavirus.
“There is this issue of people not having gone to seek assistance and also of assistance being very overloaded, with eyes very focused on the Covid issue”, he says.
Virologist José Eduardo Levi says that the authorities were careless.
“When you have limited health resources, which is the case in Brazil and many other countries, a lot was directed towards the fight against Covid and you were not able to fight the mosquito in a systematic way as it should be done throughout the year. ”, says Levi.
The living conditions of the population are also pointed out by experts as another cause of the advance of dengue. The mosquito finds more and more space in cities with precarious housing and poor quality public services.
“We have left a lot to be desired regarding the issue of garbage collection, sanitary infrastructure so that people do not need to accumulate water”, says Ademir Martins.
“Brazil managed to eradicate Aedes aegypti, but with the situation in our cities, urbanization, large accumulation of garbage, stagnant water, etc., this battle against the mosquito is kind of insane”, says Levi.
Now, it’s getting out of the way anything that becomes a breeding ground.
“If everyone takes care of their backyard, as these mosquitoes don’t fly far either, you at least in your neighborhood you avoid cases”, emphasizes Levi.
This year, 214 people died of dengue. It is important to be aware of the most serious symptoms to seek help at the right time.
“The person needs to know how to recognize the severe form of the disease, which is basically pain in the belly, not diarrhea, really pain in the belly, vomiting and a lot of nausea. This type of alert forces the person to leave their home and look for an emergency room”, explains Celso Granato.