More dengue fever cases in Brazil in first quarter
Updated: 2015-04-14 10:56
BRASILIA - Cases of dengue fever in Brazil have increased 240 percent in the first quarter of the year, compared to the same period in 2014, the Health Ministry reported Monday.
The country registered 460,500 cases in the first three months of 2015, 325,200 more than last year.
However, compared to two years ago, when 730,800 cases were reported in the first quarter, there has been a 37 percent drop.
From January to March, 132 people infected with the mosquito-borne disease died, 29 percent more than in the first quarter of 2014, but 52 percent fewer than in the same period of 2013.
Brazil's northern Acre state has seen the highest incidence of dengue fever, with 882.5 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, followed by Goias in midwest, with 702.4 cases per 100,000, and Sao Paulo, with 585.5 cases.
According to World Health Organization (WHO) norms, more than 300 cases per 100,000 inhabitants is considered an epidemic.
The viral infection causes flu-like symptoms and can occasionally develop life-threatening complications. There is no specific treatment but early detection and treatment will result in a fatality rate of below 1 percent, the WHO states.
Still, the disease has grown dramatically in recent decades, the WHO adds, with about half of the world's population now at risk of contracting the disease, especially in tropical and subtropical areas.