Health Ministry announces red alert in Loreto to combat spread of dengue

Health Minister Oscar Ugarte, changing his initial assessment, announced a red alert in Peru’s north-eastern Loreto department due to the spread of dengue fever, CNR news service reported.

The alert came into effect on February 2 and is valid for 60 days, Ugarte said.

It will allow the department to improve its resources for health services by making necessary purchases and bringing in specialized health personnel.

Ugarte said the government has also declared a yellow alert in 14 other departments, including Lima.

Health officials announced earlier this week estimates of some 10,000 probable cases and 6,000 proven cases of dengue in the jungle city of Iquitos, the capital of Loreto. Eleven people have died in the Iquitos area, according to reports earlier this week.

 The first four cases of dengue in Lima were also reported early this week. The four people came down with the fever while in Iquitos.

Outbreaks of the fever are seasonal, with increased cases during the hot summers (Jan-March). Dengue is a series of viruses spread by mosquitoes and strikes people with low levels of immunity. The symptoms are similar to those of a bad flu, including headaches and severe joint pains.

The ministry says the dengue that has been reported is a new strain with different symptoms. Unlike dengue hemorrhagic fever, the new strain does not produce high fevers but will result and abdominal pains that could lead to shock.

Meanwhile in the south-east Madre de Dios department, the regional vice president and doctor at a local hospital, Jorge Aldazabal, said that in 2010 and the first month of 2011 they have reported 30,000 cases of the classic dengue strain.

Sharing is caring!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *