Bolivia: the Santa Cruz region declared a red alert for a dengue epidemic

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Authorities confirmed 387 cases of the disease transmitted by the Aedes aegypti mosquito in 17 municipalities

Bolivia: the Santa Cruz region declared a red alert for a dengue epidemic

File photo: A Bolivian soldier fumigates a neighborhood to prevent dengue in the district Plan 3000 in Santa Cruz (REUTERS/Rodrigo Urzagasti)

The health authorities of Santa Cruz, the largest region of Bolivia, declared a “red alert” on Thursday to deal with a dengue epidemic that is occurring in the department , where four people have died from the disease so far this year.

A technical council and the regional scientific committee approved a resolution in a meeting to “declare an alert red due to the dengue epidemic in the department of Santa Cruz”, explained to the media the director of the Santa Cruz Departmental Health Service (Sedes), Julio César Koca.

The declaration will allow activate the Departmental Emergency Operations Committee (COED)and allocate economic resources to treat the disease and stop its spread, he said.

According to Koca, Santa Cruz has 387 confirmed cases of dengue fever, of which 235 They are in the city of the same name, the regional capital.

In his turn, the Epidemiology manager of the Santa Cruz Headquarters, Carlos Hurtado, specified that with the activation of the “red alert” epidemiological surveillance will be intensified and medical care will be reinforced in health centers at different levels and in social security.

Timely laboratory diagnosis and adequate treatment in health services must also be guaranteed, and “community work” will be organized for the fumigation and destruction of breeding sites of dengue-transmitting mosquitoes, he added.

Bolivia: the Santa Cruz region declared a red alert for a dengue epidemic

Dengue is transmitted by the bite of the Aedes aegypti mosquito (Credit: Getty)

Hurtado pointed out that there is “a very worrying epidemiological situation” in the department, where 17 municipalities are affected by the disease and of the 387 positive cases, 112 are admitted to health centers

The official explained that in the last six weeks seven deaths due to dengue have been reported, three in 2022 and another four so far in 2023.

“The situation warrants that we raise a declaration of red alert and if the behavior of the disease continues like this (…) surely we will reach an emergency situation in the next few days due to dengue”, he added.

Dengue , transmitted by the bite of the Aedes aegypti mosquito, causes high fevers, headaches, vomiting and skin rashes and can be fatal in its hemorrhagic form.

The insect that causes the disease reproduces in times of frequent rain in hot areas of Bolivia and to do this it takes advantage of any space with standing water, such as abandoned tires, rubble or swamps, for which the authorities have recommended getting rid of this type of material.

(With information from EFE)

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