Cases of dengue fever, transmitted by the aedes aegypti mosquito, dropped 69% last year in Brazil, compared with 2003. Acre was the only state in which the incidence of the disease rose, 256%, from 1,514 cases in 2003 to 5,395 in 2004.
The state of Paraná showed the greatest reduction in the incidence of dengue in Brazil: 99%, with only 92 cases reported in 2004. This balance sheet is included in a bulletin issued by the Ministry of Health’s Secretariat of Health Surveillance (SVS).
105,894 people contracted dengue in Brazil in 2004. Two deaths were registered. So far in 2005, 472 cases have been reported.
On November 3, Brazil’s Ministry of Health launched a new campaign against dengue with the help of ads in newspapers, magazines and on TV and radio. The motto of the campaign: “Don’t let dengue ruin your summer.”
Dengue is a worldwide public health problem. According to the World Health Organization, between 50 and 100 million people get the disease annually in 100 countries. That results in 550,000 hospitalizations and around 20,000 deaths.
Jarbas Barbosa, at the ministry, reports that in Brazil the disease is under control with the number of cases dropping from year to year.
In 2003 the number of cases fell 91%, compared to 2002. The problem, says Barbosa, is that prevention has to be constant. “Every summer is dengue mosquito season and we have to be ready,” he declared.
The Aedes Aegypti mosquito, which transmits dengue, thrives in urban environments where there is sitting water – something that is not very hard to find.