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Dangerous dengue fever is spreading – WHO raises alarm

The American continent in particular is registering extremely high numbers of dengue infections. The World Health Organization is alarmed.

The World Health Organization (WHO) is alarmed by the already high number of dengue cases this year. The number of infections has been rising for five years, but the situation on the American continents has been particularly worrying since the beginning of 2024, the WHO reported in Geneva. By April, more than seven million cases had been reported from there, significantly more than the 4.5 million cases in the whole of 2023.

Dengue is a viral disease that is transmitted by mosquitoes in tropical and subtropical climates and can be life-threatening. It can be transmitted by the Asian tiger mosquito, which is already found in parts of southern Europe.

In total, there had already been cases in 90 countries by the end of April 2024. 7.6 million had been reported to the WHO, 3.4 million of which were confirmed. In more than 16,000 cases, people were seriously ill and 3,000 died. However, many countries do not have the capacity for comprehensive monitoring, so the WHO assumes that there are actually significantly more cases. Containment is important because otherwise the disease could spread to countries where it has hardly occurred so far.

Many people show no symptoms or only a low fever after being infected. In severe cases, however, severe bleeding and organ damage can occur. “Given the current magnitude of dengue outbreaks, the potential risk of further international spread and the complexity of factors affecting transmission, the overall risk at the global level remains high,” the WHO said. Dengue remains a global threat to public health.

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