Dengue cases increase 300% and cause 14 deaths in Rio in 2022

Dengue cases in the state of Rio de Janeiro have increased by 300% this year, according to a survey by the State Department of Health (SES). The comparison takes into account the months of January to October of this year and the same period in 2021.

According to the SES, the Notifiable Diseases Information System (Sinan) has already accounted for 10,471 cases of dengue this year, with 14 victims. Last year, there were 2,613 cases and four deaths from the disease until October.

According to the survey, the incidence of chikungunya also grew in the state, but with less intensity. Cases increased by 24%, with 611 diagnoses and no deaths in 2022.

Considered urban arboviruses, both diseases are transmitted by mosquitoes. Aedes aegypti, as well as Zika. This third disease, however, had a reduction in cases in 2022.

Contingency plan

The State Department of Health warns that the population must engage in the elimination of mosquito breeding sites Aedes aegypti, which depends on places with standing water to lay its eggs and multiply. The end of the year traditionally increases the number of mosquito outbreaks, and to combat them, the Contingency Plan to Combat Urban Arboviruses caused by Aedes aegypti 2022/2024.

State Secretary of Health, Alexandre Chieppe, said the plan will prepare the state to respond quickly in the event of an epidemic, and includes a public awareness campaign. “The dengue mosquito lives preferentially inside our homes, which is why it is so important that everyone dedicate 10 minutes a week to eliminating outbreaks,” he said.

The state plan provides from the training of health professionals for the adequate care of suspected cases to contingency actions, such as the structuring of reception centers in health units and emergency care units (UPAs), considering the specificities of the illness.

type 2 dengue

The wave of cases registered this year, in part, can be explained by the return of serotype 2 of the dengue virus, which had not been circulating in the state of Rio de Janeiro since 2008.

The Secretary of Health recalls that the serotype was responsible for the largest dengue epidemic ever faced by the state of Rio de Janeiro, in 2008, and its re-entry has been monitored since 2019.

“Whoever was born after that period [2008] has no immunity to this subtype of the virus. Therefore, we have an important portion of the susceptible population, which can lead to an increase in transmission”, explains Chieppe.

Dengue control depends on the population taking care in their homes and workplaces to prevent stagnant water from accumulating in places such as potted plants, tires, bottles, unused and unmaintained swimming pools, uncovered water tanks, and even small containers like bottle caps.

To help the population to prevent the accumulation of stagnant water in exposed places and eliminate mosquito outbreaks, the Health Department recommends checking that the water tank is well covered; leave the bins well covered; put sand in plant dishes; collect and pack the yard garbage and clean the gutters.

It is still necessary to cover swimming pools; cover the drains and lower the toilet lids; clean the outer tray of the refrigerator; cleaning and storing pet bowls; clean the air conditioning water collection tray; cover well the cistern and other water reservoirs.

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Translated to english by RJ983

From Brazil, by EBC News