Carnival in Brazil: a party with worries

bCarnival has begun in Brazil, the most wonderful time of the year. Millions of people, including countless tourists, are expected to attend street carnivals in Rio de Janeiro, Salvador, Recife, Sao Paulo and other major cities. In the summer heat, you will be dressed lightly and can have fun without worry. But at the same time as the carnival fever, dengue fever spread in Brazil. Almost 400,000 cases of infection have been reported to date, four times more cases than in the same period in 2023, according to the Ministry of Health. Dengue fever has been confirmed as the cause of more than 50 deaths, and nearly 300 more cases are currently being identified. investigated.

Meanwhile, three Brazilian states have declared states of emergency, including the second most populous state of Minas Gerais and the federal district where the capital Brasilia is located, which is seeing an unprecedented surge in infections. Soldiers have been sent to the capital to locate breeding sites for yellow fever mosquitoes (Aedes aegypti). The Brazilian Air Force has been operating a field hospital in the outskirts of Brasilia for a week to prepare for a surge in cases.

Health emergency: over 10,000 cases

Rio de Janeiro, a Carnival stronghold, also declared a health emergency during the week after cases in the metropolis topped 10,000. Statewide, there are now about 20,000 cases, more than ten times more than last year. The number of emergency centers has been increased and beds have been allocated in city hospitals exclusively for dengue patients. In addition, particularly severely affected areas are sprayed with insecticides.

The Ministry of Health has created a center to coordinate efforts to combat dengue fever throughout Brazil. Cases are expected to rise further and spread more rapidly in the coming weeks, including in areas that were previously less severely affected. Carnival also contributes to this as it is likely to be a large scale event due to large crowds and heavy tourist activity. Therefore, visitors are advised to carry mosquito repellent spray in addition to sunscreen and condoms. The only question is how long it will last on sweaty skin.

Vaccination campaign has begun

Brazil is also relying on a vaccine that has been available for use since late last year. The country has purchased 5.2 million doses of the dengue vaccine Qdenga, developed by Japanese drugmaker Takeda, and another 1.32 million doses have been provided to the government free of charge, according to the Health Ministry. Vaccination is primarily aimed at children and young people. The first vaccination campaign began in January.

Experts believe that the current very warm weather is responsible for the rapid spread of dengue fever. Combined with regular rainfall, this encourages the breeding of yellow fever mosquitoes and hence the spread of dengue fever and other diseases transmitted by these insects. Scientists say this year’s El Niño weather pattern will lead to higher temperatures and more rainfall in parts of Brazil and thus prolong the dengue fever season.

World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, who visited Brasilia last week, said the current outbreak of dengue fever in Brazil is “part of a global resurgence of dengue fever with more than 500 million cases and more than 5,000 deaths.” last year were registered from 80 countries in all regions of the world except Europe. Symptoms of dengue fever include high fever, headache, vomiting, muscle and joint pain, and an itchy rash. In rare cases, especially in secondary cases, the disease can cause severe fever leading to bleeding, which can be fatal.

Source: Frantfurter Allgemeine

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