WHO: More than 5.5 million cases of dengue fever in 2023

Raman Velayudhan, director of the World Health Organization's (WHO) unit on tropical diseases, reported that more than 5.5 million cases of dengue fever were detected worldwide in 2023 and 5 thousand deaths were reported due to this disease

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Velayudhan made assessments on the global situation of dengue fever at the weekly press conference of the United Nations (UN) Geneva Office.

“In 2023, more than 5.5 million cases of dengue fever were seen worldwide and 5 thousand deaths were reported due to this disease.” Velayudhan said that mosquitoes, which are the main carriers of dengue fever and whose distribution areas are expanding, have spread to more countries in the Mediterranean region, South American countries and some parts of Africa due to environmental changes and climatic conditions.

Velayudhan underlined that 4.5 million cases of dengue fever were reported in the Americas in 2023, the highest number seen in the same continent in a single year.

Noting that the cases reported in Brazil accounted for 68 percent of dengue fever cases in the Americas, Velayudhan pointed out that 373,709 cases of dengue fever were reported in the Americas in January 2024.

“Countries, partners and communities should work together against dengue fever and be vigilant and prepared to detect the transmission of dengue fever and other mosquito-borne diseases in the tropics,” Velayudhan said.

Dengue fever

Dengue fever, which occurs in tropical and subtropical regions, is transmitted to humans by mosquitoes. After the incubation period, the disease generally causes mild fever, but in some cases it can cause death.

Cases usually increase in March, June, September and December, known as the “rainy season”.

Scientists warn that high temperatures and prolonged rains have led to an increase in mosquitoes carrying malaria and dengue fever.

Since the mosquito species that causes the disease forms larvae in puddles, possible breeding areas need to be constantly sprayed.

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