The World Health Organization (WHO) warned that dengue infections have exceeded five million this year, resulting in 5,000 deaths worldwide.
Dr. Diana Rojas Alvarez, WHO Team Lead on Arboviruses, emphasized the need for maximum attention and response from the UN health agency to control current dengue outbreaks and prepare for the upcoming dengue season.
Global warming and infection boost
Dengue is the most common viral infection transmitted to humans by infected mosquitoes and is mainly found in urban areas within tropical and sub-tropical climates.
Climate change and rising emissions have caused infected mosquitoes to thrive in more countries due to increased rainfall, humidity, and temperature, making them very sensitive and leading to an increase in dengue transmission.
While most infected individuals are symptom-free and recover within one to two weeks, severe dengue infections can lead to shock, severe bleeding, or organ impairment.
WHO has highlighted specific warning signs to look out for, including intense abdominal pain, persistent vomiting, and fluid accumulation, underscoring the importance of early detection and access to proper medical care.
Dr. Alvarez reported that over five million dengue cases and about 5,000 deaths have been reported worldwide since the beginning of the year, with the majority of cases occurring in the Americas, followed by Southeast Asia and the Western Pacific.
The global prevalence of mosquitoes has changed in recent years due to the 2023 El Niño phenomenon, leading to autochthonous transmission and cases of infections reported in previously dengue-free countries such as France, Italy, and Spain.
“As we know, the summers are getting warmer,” Dr. Alvarez stated.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of UN News.