Dengue Cases on the Rise in Puerto Rico, Prompts Public Health Emergency Declaration

2021 Dengue Outbreak: Puerto Rico Surges to Record Highs as Health Emergency Declared

This year, Puerto Rico has been hit hard with a dengue outbreak that has surged rapidly throughout the Americas. Health officials in Puerto Rico have reported 549 cases of the mosquito-borne illness, with nearly half of the cases concentrated in San Juan, the capital city. Dengue, also known as “breakbone fever,” can cause symptoms such as headaches, soreness, fever, and rashes, and in severe cases can lead to death.

Health Secretary Carlos Mellado stated that this year’s cases of dengue have exceeded historical records. Despite this declaration of a public health emergency, travel to and from Puerto Rico will not be immediately impacted. However, it will allow the health department to access funding more easily for detection and prevention efforts.

Dengue outbreaks have been reported in various countries across the Americas this year, including Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil, and Peru. In the United States, parts of Florida were on alert last year for mosquito-borne illnesses like dengue. It is important for travelers to take precautions when visiting areas with high risk of dengue transmission by using insect repellent and sleeping under mosquito nets to prevent bites from infected mosquitoes.

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