Dengue Emergency Dampens Rio de Janeiro Carnival
As millions of residents and international travelers celebrate Carnival in Rio de Janeiro today, a mosquito-borne disease may disrupt two million people per day attending the biggest festival in the world.
As of February 9, 2024, the Federative Republic of Brazil reported over 10,000 dengue virus cases, compared to 2.9 million in 2023.
And Rio's Carnival could be a hot-spot for disease transmission.
Dengue is a vaccine-preventable disease, endemic in about 125 countries.
To reduce dengue infections, Brazil's health regulator approved the QDENGA® second-generation vaccine in 2023. Unfortunately, this dengue vaccine has not yet been widely distributed this year.
This means that in addition to festival-related headaches, many Carnival attendees may experience fever, pain behind the eyes, muscle and joint pain, and a blotchy rash.
Furthermore, on rare occasions, dengue can be fatal.
During 2023, a total of 2,050 deaths due to dengue in the Americas resulted in a case fatality rate of 0.049%.
There is good news from the local government.
On February 7, 2024, Brazil announced a National Plan for the Elimination of Socially Determined Diseases. This plan includes increasing vaccine access to prevent various diseases, including dengue.