The regional health office in Peru’s jungle department of Ucayali declared a red alert Friday due to an increasing number of dengue fever cases, daily Peru.21 reported. Declaring a red alert increases health resources by facilitating purchases for materials and bringing in specialized health personnel.
Cayo Leveau, a regional health official, said the government plans to purchase more fumigators as well as make more beds available in health centers to treat patients, among other measures.
On Thursday, the government said it was keeping an eye on the situation and would implement measures to prevent a full outbreak of dengue in Ucayali. Health Minister Midori de Habich said that four people have died from dengue in recent days. Another 600 cases have been reported in Pucallpa, the capital of Ucayali.
Dengue fever, or breakbone fever, is a tropical disease caused by four types of the dengue virus, 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. One of the main breeding grounds is stagnant or still pools of water.
Outbreaks of dengue occur mainly in the jungle regions but cases have been reported on the coast. An informational campaign was carried out in the Lima area during the 2012 summer.