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Public Health Emergency – Dengue Fever Spikes in Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico is battling a surge in dengue fever cases, prompting health officials to declare a public health emergency on March 26th, 2024 [Fox News]. As of that date, the territory had reported a staggering 549 confirmed cases, with nearly half concentrated in the capital city of San Juan [NPR]. This number already surpasses nearly half of the total cases reported in all of 2023 [Healio].

The rapid rise in dengue fever cases has health officials deeply concerned. Dengue, a mosquito-borne illness also known as “breakbone fever,” can cause severe flu-like symptoms, including headaches, muscle and joint pain, and rashes. In extreme cases, it can lead to hospitalization and even death [NPR].

The declaration of a public health emergency allows Puerto Rico to access additional resources to combat the outbreak. This includes ramping up mosquito control efforts, improving disease surveillance, and ensuring healthcare facilities are adequately equipped to handle the influx of patients [Healio].

The reasons behind the surge in dengue fever cases are still under investigation. However, factors like climate change, increased urbanization, and disruptions to mosquito control programs due to past hurricanes may all be contributing factors [Time].

With the public health emergency declared, Puerto Rico is taking a proactive approach to containing the outbreak. Stay informed with the latest updates from NPR: NPR: https://www.npr.org/ and Fox News: Fox News: https://www.foxnews.com/.


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