“We are experiencing an epidemic period for dengue in Brazil”, says infectious disease specialist

As the growth in the number of people immunized for covid-19 causes a natural sense of tranquility to the population, Brazilian health authorities remain on the alert with other viral diseases. The Ministry of Health issued an alert for the increase in Brazil of 113.7% in probable cases of dengue until April this year, compared to the same period last year. Until the 2nd, 542,038 probable cases were registered, practically the same number registered in the entire year of 2021, with 544 thousand.

In Volta Redonda, City Hall warns of the escalation of the number of cases, currently in a category classified as medium risk. The Rapid Survey of Indices for Aedes aegypti (LIRAa), carried out between April 3 and 9, was 3.3%, by the Municipal Environmental Surveillance shows that the city has a 3.3% rate of mosquito infestation. There are still five regions of the city where there is a high risk, with more than 3.9% and 10 confirmed cases of the disease so far.

Data from cities in the region also point to an increase in cases. According to the State Health Department, Itatiaia, Quatis, Resende and Valença already have more cases registered this year than in the whole of last year, comparing data from the 1st to the 16th epidemiological week.

On the other hand, Barra Mansa recorded a reduction in the first four months of 2022. There are 38 suspected cases and seven confirmed. In 2021, 777 cases were reported for 377 confirmations, according to the Epidemiology Sector.

For infectious disease specialist Luiz Henrique Conde Sangenis, coordinating professor of the discipline of Infectious and Parasitic Diseases at the University Center of Volta Redonda (UniFOA), the pandemic is a factor that may have worsened the situation.

“With the Covid pandemic, the arrival of Ômicron at the beginning of the year, Aedes aegypti control actions carried out by states and municipalities may have been affected. For some months now, we have been observing the increase in the mosquito population in several cities in Rio de Janeiro. The explosion of cases was just a matter of time, particularly in the areas that registered the most intense rainy season, Tocantins, Goiás, DF, part of São Paulo and southern Brazil”, he said.

The expert highlights other factors that led to the dengue epidemic period in Brazil. “The disease is transmitted by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which multiplies intensely in hot and rainy periods. Some factors can explain this current epidemic, such as the very rainy summer in several regions, mainly in the Southeast, part of the Midwest, Northeast and North of Brazil and now in autumn the rains also increased in the South of Brazil. With this, the ideal conditions for the proliferation of the mosquito increase”, explained Luiz Henrique, who is a Master and Doctor in Infectious and Parasitic Diseases.

types

In Brazil, the four viral types of dengue are already circulating and infection with one type does not confer immunity to another. “Type 4 was reintroduced in the last decade and caused epidemics in the North of Brazil, Rio, São Paulo, Northeast and is now expanding to the Midwest and South region”, commented Luiz Henrique.

The infectious disease specialist highlights some precautions that the population should take, since, according to data from the Environmental Surveillance of Volta Redonda, about 50% of the identified breeding sites are in the so-called “mobile deposits”, which are plant dishes and animal drinkers. Cans, scrap and rubble correspond to 21% and water deposits at ground level such as tins and barrels have 9.1%. The others are composed of tires (8.6%); gutters, pools, drains (7.5%); natural deposits (bromeliads and tree holes), with 2.7%; and elevated water reservoirs (water tanks) – 1.1%.

– Aedes aegypti lays eggs in standing water, even in small collections, such as disposable cups of water and coffee improperly thrown on the floor.

– Avoid accumulating standing water inside the house. Put sand in the dishes of plant pots, clean the rain gutters on the roof, removing leaves that prevent proper water drainage, do not leave swimming pools, tanks with standing water, properly cover water tanks, place bottles and containers with mouth down, change the water in animal drinking fountains and clean the pots with a sponge and soap, store the garbage in tightly closed bags and do not leave the garbage on the street, take it only on the day of collection.

dengue symptoms

Sudden-onset moderate to high fever, headache, especially behind the eyes, body ache, tiredness, nausea, and vomiting. May also have red spots on the skin in 1/3 of cases.

Diagnosis

Any signs of fever, headache, body aches should seek the nearest health unit for medical examination, severity staging and serological tests to confirm the disease. Dengue treatment should be done with analgesics and antipyretics, such as Dipyrone and Paracetamol, and anti-inflammatory drugs and derivatives of Acetyl Salicylic Acid should be avoided due to the risk of triggering bleeding, it is important to drink plenty of fluids and rest.

Mild cases can be treated at home with medication and oral hydration, and more severe cases may require hospitalization for intravenous hydration. Therefore, medical evaluation is of fundamental importance to assess the severity and the most appropriate treatment for each case.

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