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Rio de Janeiro sets a daily record for dengue fever cases

Rio de Janeiro sets a daily record for dengue fever cases

According to the Brazilian News Agency, Daniel Soranz confirmed that this daily value exceeded the previous maximum dating back to 2008, and is the highest since data collection began in 1974.

“A continuous increase in the number of cases over the course of a month, with repercussions on the healthcare network, is the characteristic of a classic epidemic. So there is no reason why we cannot sound the alarm and say that this is a real epidemic scenario. We are in a dengue epidemic,” Sorans said.

In January, Rio de Janeiro recorded about 10,000 cases of the disease, nearly half of the 22,959 cases throughout 2023, representing an infection rate of 160.7 per 100,000 inhabitants.

So far, no dengue deaths have been confirmed in January, although three deaths are under investigation.

Authorities' biggest fear is that the curve of cases, which traditionally peaks between March and May, could surpass previous epidemics.

“We will probably have a worse scenario in 2024,” Rio de Janeiro Mayor Eduardo Paes admitted.

The city's health department attributes the high number of cases to high temperatures and heavy rain.

“In the heat, mosquitoes are born much faster, and the rainy season leads to water accumulation and more mosquito growth foci,” Daniel Sorans explained.

Brazil has already recorded more than 217,000 probable cases of dengue this year and could record up to 4.2 million cases by the end of 2024, the Brazilian Health Ministry noted on Thursday.

In the first month of the year, 217,841 probable cases were detected, 15 deaths were confirmed and 149 were under investigation. The previous tally, which counted the first three weeks of the year, indicated that the country recorded 12 deaths and 120,874 probable cases.

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In 2023, Brazil recorded more than 1.6 million cases of the disease, more than a fifth of all reported cases in the world, and 1,094 deaths, a historic record.

The Brazilian government on Thursday released the list of cities that will receive the dengue vaccine.

In all, about 500 cities in 16 states are listed for vaccination, which should initially prioritize children and teens ages 10 to 14, the group with the highest rate of hospitalizations due to the disease.

The country expects to receive up to 6.2 million doses of the Japanese dengue vaccine in 2024.

But since vaccination requires two doses of the vaccine, this amount covers only 3.1 million people and is insufficient to confront the current explosion in cases.