Paraguay declares health emergency in capital over dengue outbreak

Paraguay declares health emergency in capital over dengue outbreak

Paraguay declares health emergency in capital over dengue outbreak

Written by Reuters

17 Jan, 2020 | 9:20 am

REUTERS:- Health authorities in Paraguay have issued a health emergency over an outbreak of dengue that has left hospitals struggling to cope and killed at least one person.

The health alert was raised for the capital Asuncion and is expected to be in effect for 90 days. The declaration is expected to strengthen efforts to tackle the spread of the disease, with the government this week calling up 500 healthcare workers to treat patients. According to the country’s Health Ministry, there have been at least 1,700 suspected cases of dengue in the Asuncion area since October. Although only one death related to dengue has been officially confirmed, officials are investigating another nine fatalities that could be linked to the disease.

Paraguay is no stranger to dengue. In 2007, some 27,000 people were infected and 17 died.

According to the World Health Organisation, dengue is transmitted by the bite of an Aedes mosquito. It causes vomiting, nausea, and headaches, while in its most deadly form it provokes hemorrhaging and internal bleeding. Dengue kills an estimated 22,000 people a year around the world and, in the absence of commercially available vaccines, health authorities have to focus on controlling mosquitoes to stop it spreading.

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