Minas Gerais is on alert in the face of the increase in dengue cases and, in turn, deaths from the mosquito-borne disease. Aedes aegypti🇧🇷 From January to November this year alone, there were more than 66,000 diagnoses, and in the same period in 2021, the number was 15,000 – an increase of 340%. Mortality also rose: from six to 63 – 950%.
The concern about the disease is due to the fact that we have not yet started the summer period, which is the time of year with higher levels. “The increase in the number of deaths is proportional to the number of cases. 2022, although not a pandemic year, was very special, as we are seeing localized epidemics. Many cases are in small municipalities,” says State Coordinator of Arbovirus Surveillance Danielle Capistrano.
The significant growth in the number of cases of the disease, according to epidemiologist Luana Araújo, is mainly related to the lack of more certain measures to control the spread of the disease. Aedes aegypti🇧🇷 According to her, the greater focus on combating Covid-19 has generated the ‘cover one saint and discover another saint’ behavior.
When we lose sight of these basic carrier control programs, since we can’t eradicate the disease, this kind of growth in numbers happens. There has been a lot of attention and resources diverted to Covid-19.
The expert points out that over the years, there has always been a fluctuating response to dengue in the country; This means that sometimes there are more cases, and in others less. However, he never came close to turning the disease into a minor illness. Therefore, it is extremely important to double the care (see below) And not to forget any combative action even amid other concerns such as the coronavirus.
“Since we still cannot control the presence of the virus itself, it is important to control mosquitoes. It highlights that the fewer mosquitoes we have, the less infection we have.”
Infectious scientist Leandro Cori also points out that, at present, fewer campaigns have been seen regarding risk and care with dengue, which is directly reflected in the numbers of the disease.
Perhaps there was oversight as a community. Right now, we don’t see many people talking about the need to clean their gutters, frames, and pool walls. There is a kind of carelessness in terms of control. In the end, people forget about verbs, which opens up possibilities for the carrier.
The rainy season
The rainy season requires more attention from everyone, explained the State Coordinator for Arbovirus Surveillance, Danielle Capistrano. “We are now entering the rainy monsoon period. We have water accumulation, temperature rise, and therefore Aedes and disease transmission.” It is important to remember that in addition to dengue, the mosquito transmits chikungunya virus and Zika virus (See the numbers per state below🇧🇷
“The most important period is still in its infancy and is getting our attention. The peak issues tend to be in the months of February, March and April when we are already in the summer. Mine is on alert [para casos de dengue] Especially if we take the historical series and see that the number of cases is higher than it was in other years, ”the coordinator confirms.
Local epidemics are observed in the state. The areas most diagnosed are, according to Daniel, Tringolo and southeastern Minas. “These municipalities really tend to have more issues, and that doesn’t mean they’re just going to be there. We have quiet places that get really hot when summer comes, because the climate is hot and humid.”
In order for the aedes to carry out the entire cycle and be able to transmit diseases, it needs water and, oftentimes, the danger is indoors. “Higher levels of dengue create the aforementioned alert so residents don’t leave standing water. Numerous surveys show that more than 80% of the carrier is inside homes,” says Danielle.
Simple measures are essential in the control of Aedes (See precautions below🇧🇷 With the aim of mosquito control, we have endemic disease control agents who visit homes and check places with stagnant water. They do both removing and directing the population. The rain worries us because the gutters are clogged, the bottles are upside down, the water tank is exposed and puddles are left.”
Partnership between residents is important, because agent visits alone are not enough. The coordinator states the measures taken by the administration. The country has implemented several policies to combat arboviruses and we offer financial incentives to municipalities. Everything is on our portal in the “Instructions” tab. The municipality needs to buy protective equipment, vehicles and invest in surveillance to control the carrier and prevent an increase in cases. Everyone has to do their part.”
Mobilization work is also taking place in schools. “We have combined our efforts so that we can have a summer without many cases of dengue,” he concludes.
Arboviruses in Minas
Arboviruses are diseases caused by viruses that are mainly transmitted by mosquitoes. The most common in urban settings are: dengue, zika, and chikungunya. The viruses that cause these diseases are transmitted by Aedes aegypti🇧🇷 See data from Minas between January and November 2021 and 2022:
2021: 15,255 confirmed cases / 6 deaths
2022: 66,601 confirmed cases / 63 deaths
2021: 5,344 confirmed cases / 1 death
2022: 5,405 confirmed cases / 0 deaths
2021: 25 confirmed cases / 0 deaths
2022: 12 confirmed cases / 0 deaths
Check the precautions residents can and should take in their homes and workplaces to prevent the spread of the virus. Aedes aegypti🇧🇷
- Remove the plates from the plant pot;
- Putting cans, plastic and glass wrappers, and generally disposable items in plastic bags, and sealing them well;
- Keep trash covered. Always put the rubbish out for collection by the urban cleaning service;
- Keep the water tank, cistern and barrel/drum always well sealed and without leaving gaps;
- Always check if the gutter is blocked and remove leaves and anything that might obstruct the flow of water;
- Give the tires to the urban cleaning service. If you need it, keep it dry and store it in a covered place;
- Chlorine the pool water and clean it once a week;
- Keep the toilet seat closed at all times. In an unused bathroom, wash it once a week;
- Always keep the yard clean and free of any material that could become a hotspot for dengue (plastic bags, bottle caps, eggshells, and packaging in general);
- Always remove water from the outside drawer of the refrigerator and air conditioner. Wash it with soap and water.
- If you do not intend to use PET and glass bottles, put them in a plastic bag for urban cleaning collection. If you are going to use them, keep them in a covered, dry place and always upside down;
- Dry all used materials that could accumulate water and store them in a covered place.
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