Dengue Fever in Puerto Rico: Public Health Emergency Declared as Mosquito-Borne Illness Ravages the Americas

Dengue Cases on the Rise in Puerto Rico, Prompts Public Health Emergency Declaration

Dengue fever, a mosquito-borne illness that has been rapidly spreading throughout the Americas, has prompted Puerto Rico to declare a public health emergency. Health officials in Puerto Rico have reported 549 cases of dengue in the U.S. territory, with nearly half of the cases concentrated in the capital city of San Juan. This year’s cases have exceeded historical records, according to Health Secretary Carlos Mellado.

Dengue can cause symptoms such as headaches, soreness, fever, and rashes, and in severe cases, can lead to death. The public health emergency declaration will not immediately impact travel to or from Puerto Rico, which is a popular holiday destination. However, it will allow the health department to access funding more easily for detection and prevention efforts.

The dengue virus has been reported in various countries across the Americas this year, including Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil, and Peru. In the United States, parts of Florida were on alert last year for mosquito-borne illnesses like dengue. It is important for travelers to take precautions when visiting areas with high risk of dengue infection by using insect repellent and sleeping under mosquito nets.

Sophia Reynolds

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