(BrightPress.org) – The World Health Organization (WHO) issued a warning over Dengue Fever, a viral infection that spreads through mosquito bites in tropical areas. On July 21st, they suggested the disease could hit record numbers of infections this year, citing global warming as a contributing factor. They also claimed reported cases of the disease are up 8 times what they were in 2000, to 4.2 million infections around the world in 2022.
Currently, European health agencies are reporting an uptick in cases and Peru is experiencing a severe outbreak with 130,000 cases and 200 deaths. Currently, there is one vaccine available in the U.S. and it’s only advisable for children aged 6 to 16 living in endemic locations like Puerto Rico and who have already had the disease once. A Japanese vaccine was voluntarily pulled from the FDA approval process after the agency requested more information from the company that their current trials couldn’t produce.
The World Health Organization lists Dengue Fever as one of the top 10 global health threats in a report from 2019. Half the world’s population lives in endemic areas where infection occurs regularly and 400 million people suffer from the disease each year.
Dr. Coralith García is an associate professor at a Peruvian university, and she told Fox New Digital that cases are cropping up in urban areas where it had not previously been an issue. Many are blaming increases in temperature and rainfall which allows mosquitos to proliferate, but Garcia suggested that the sheer volume of people in close quarters could be a contributing factor as well. She added that Peru had the highest fatality rate during the pandemic and that their stressed and ineffective healthcare system is partially to blame for the rise in Dengue cases.
Most dengue cases are mild and unreported, however, severe disease can develop during a repeat infection since the four different strains of the disease do not provide cross-immunity. The CDC claims roughly 40,000 people die each year due to the virus.
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