Dengue Fever in Brazil (Update)
27 February 2013
The media has reported on the worsening dengue fever situation in Brazil.
The Health Ministry reports that there has been a 190% increase in the number of dengue fever cases reported during the first seven weeks of 2013, compared with the same time period in 2012. A total of 204 640 cases and 33 deaths were recorded.
The worst affected state is Mato Crosso in the midwest region (bordering Bolivia) with 42 015 cases, followed by Minas Gerais state in the southwestern region with 35 334 cases. Of the cases, 83% were reported in 8 of Brazil's 26 states.
The predominant strain circulating and responsible for more than half of all cases is DENV-type 4 which was first identified in Brazil in 2011. The Health Minister attributes the increased number of cases to DENV-type 4 circulating among a vulnerable population and states that Brazil as a whole is susceptible.
Advice for Travellers
Brazil is a popular tourist destination and travellers should be aware of the risk of dengue fever and are advised to use personal protection methods to avoid mosquito bites.