Photo: Rio De Janeiro Prepares for Dengue
As summer approaches south of the equator, Rio de Janeiro braces for the season’s worst enemy: Dengue Fever.
Rio de Janeiro Secretary of Health Sérgio Côrtes said Monday that the city faces a new dengue epidemic; there have been 160,000 cases of dengue fever since the beginning of 2011 and 131 deaths in the state, and the dengue season hasn’t even started.
As temperatures increase, so does the breeding ability and survival rate of the “Aedes aegypti” mosquito, the pest that spreads the four distinct but related viruses that cause Dengue.
Due the fact that Dengue has no vaccine or cure, prevention is the primary method of lowering ones risk of infection.
Moderate Dengue fever usually causes joint pain, high fever and rashes, but the more serious dengue haemorrhagic fever can cause circulatory failure, and is often deadly.
To attack the possibility of an epidemic, the city has put to use some forty specially adapted vehicles that will be used to spray streets and areas of difficult access that are prone to Dengue contamination.
4,000 health assistants are also being trained for rapid response and to offer treatment at all the city’s dengue first-aid stations.
The Government created “Rio Contra Dengue,” an initiative oriented towards raising awareness in the state of Rio de Janeiro that teaches citizens about taking precautionary measures as summer approaches and educates them on the seriousness of the infection.