Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Dengue fever is on the rise in Mexico and Latin America

ABC News:

The deadly hemorrhagic form of dengue fever is increasing dramatically in Mexico, and experts predict a surge throughout Latin America fueled by climate change, migration and faltering mosquito eradication efforts. Overall dengue cases have increased by more than 600 percent in Mexico since 2001, and worried officials are sending special teams to tourist resorts to spray pesticides and remove garbage and standing water where mosquitoes breed ahead of the peak Easter Week vacation season.

Even classic dengue - known as "bonebreak fever" - can cause severe flu-like symptoms, excruciating joint pain, high fever, nausea and rashes.

More alarming is that a deadly hemorrhagic form of the disease, which adds internal and external bleeding to the symptoms - is becoming more common. It accounts for one in four cases in Mexico, compared with one in 50 seven years ago, according to Mexico's Public Health Department.

While hemorrhagic dengue is increasing around the developing world, the problem is most dramatic in the Americas, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Like a poster child for the downside of humanity's impact on the planet, dengue is driven by longer rainy seasons some blame on climate change, as well as disposable plastic packaging and other trash that collects water. Migrants and tourists - including the many thousands of Americans expected for spring break this year - carry new strains of the virus across national borders, where mosquitoes can spread the disease.

Dengue Fever Fact Sheet - CDC Division of Vector-Borne Infectious Diseases (DVBID)

Brazil's dengue cases rise by 50,000 in two weeks

Severe Dengue Infections May Go Unrecognized In International Travelers

From illegals to you, dengue fever


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