Dengue fever cases are soaring in Latin America, all the way from Mexico to Chile.
The mosquito-borne illness has become one of the most common reasons for hospitalisation.
More than three million cases – a figure six times higher than the previous year – were reported in Latin America last year and the upward trend is continuing.
One Colombian city has seen a 500 percent increase in cases in a month.
What is Dengue Fever
Dengue is a mosquito-borne viral infection.
The virus responsible for causing dengue, is called dengue virus (DENV). There are four DENV serotypes, meaning that it is possible to be infected four times.
While many DENV infections produce only mild illness, DENV can cause an acute flu-like illness. Occasionally this develops into a potentially lethal complication, called severe dengue.
Severe dengue is a leading cause of serious illness and death in some Asian and Latin American countries. It requires management by medical professionals.
There is no specific treatment for dengue/severe dengue. Early detection of disease progression associated with severe dengue, and access to proper medical care lowers fatality rates of severe dengue to below 1%.
Dengue is found in tropical and sub-tropical climates worldwide, mostly in urban and semi-urban areas.
The global incidence of dengue has grown dramatically in recent decades. About half of the world’s population is now at risk. There are an estimated 100-400 million infections each year.