Dengue Outbreaks Continue in the Caribbean

San Juan Puerto Rico is a dengue hot spot
from Pixabay
Americas (Precision Vaccinations News)

The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) recently joined the U.S. CDC in issuing dengue outbreak warnings for the Region of the Americas.

As of March 26, 2024, over 3.5 million cases and more than 1,000 deaths have been reported in the Americas.

"This is cause for concern, as it represents three times more cases than those reported for the same period in 2023, a record year with more than 4.5 million cases reported in the region," PAHO Director Jarbas Barbosa said during a recent press briefing.

While dengue is on the rise throughout Latin America, the Caribbean is seeing an uptick in dengue cases in countries such as Barbados, Costa Rica, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Martinique, and Mexico, where transmission is usually higher in the second half of the year.

For example, over 5,400 dengue cases have been confirmed in Costa Rica this year.

The PAHO Director also noted the presence of the mosquito vector and cases in new geographical areas, raising concerns that some countries may not be prepared to face an increase in transmission.

Dr. Barbosa noted, "the dengue case fatality rate in the region remained below 0.05%."

Once infected, dengue can take up to two weeks to develop, with illness generally lasting less than a week. However, dengue can become severe within a few hours. According to the CDC, severe dengue is a medical emergency, usually requiring hospitalization.

In February 2024, the CDC highlights dengue outbreaks in 18 countries in its Level 1 - Practice Usual Precautions, Travel Health Advisory.

In the United States, Florida and Puerto Rico have reported locally-transmitted dengue cases in 2024.

The CDC says travelers to areas of risk should protect themselves by preventing mosquito bites and speaking with a travel vaccine expert about dengue vaccination options one month before departing.

Our Trust Standards: Medical Advisory Committee