Sunday, May 19, 2024

Dengue cases on the rise in Guerrero

Dengue cases are spiking in the coastal state of Guerrero in the wake of Hurricane Otis, with 14 deaths from the mosquito-borne condition reported in the state this year.

So far this year, 1,181of the registered cases are non-severe dengue, 1,665 are dengue with warning signs, and 141 are severe cases of dengue. The 14 deaths have been recorded in the regions of Tierra Caliente, Norte, Centro, Costa Chica and Acapulco.

Acapulco Otis
The devastation from Hurricane Otis has created perfect conditions for mosquitos, which spread the dengue virus, to breed. (Carlos Alberto Carbajal/Cuartoscuro)

The Guerrero Health Ministry (SSG) said in a bulletin that it had registered 2,671 cases up to Dec. 14. Of these, 918 were in Acapulco, the municipality hardest hit when Hurricane Otis made landfall on Oct. 25.

The Special Dengue Epidemiological Surveillance System reported an even higher number of 3,259 dengue cases in Guerrero in 2023, compared to 914 in all of 2022. The system detected a spike in cases of 82.2% following Hurricane Otis.

In response, the SSG has sprayed insecticides in fields and more than two million homes across the state, to control the breeding of the mosquitoes that spread the disease.

Dengue is spread by the bites of female Aedes mosquitoes. Its symptoms range from “mild fever to incapacitating high fever, with severe headache, pain behind the eyes, muscle and joint pain, and rash,” according to the Pan American Health Organization. In the most severe cases, symptoms can progress to “shock, respiratory distress, severe bleeding, and/or serious organ impairment.”

It is particularly dangerous to children and young adults. Acapulco’s municipal health director Aniceto Leguizamo Dimas noted that around half of the confirmed cases in the municipality are in children under 15 years old.

Leguizamo urged residents to be aware of bodies of standing water that can serve as mosquito breeding grounds and to wash and turn over any pots that may be collecting water.

Dengue cases more than tripled across southern Mexico between 2022 and 2023, likely spreading from outbreaks in Central and South America earlier this year. According to Health Ministry figures, Guerrero is the state with the fifth highest number of cumulative cases, after Yucatán, Veracruz, Quintana Roo and Morelos.

However, according to the ministry’s most recent dengue report, cases dropped nationwide after a peak in around October. In contrast, cases in Guerrero showed a second spike in the wake of Hurricane Otis, and have continued to increase.

With reports from Sur Acapulco

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