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Honduras declares health emergency due to dengue

June 1, 2024

(CNN) — Honduras has declared a national health emergency after reporting a rise in hospitalisations and deaths from dengue, the Health Ministry announced on Friday.

The government has instructed health officials to take all necessary actions, including applying prevention and control measures and identifying funds to manage the outbreak.

The Honduran Health Ministry has reported 23,037 suspected cases of dengue in the first 20 weeks of the year. That’s one of the highest totals in the Americas, according to data collected by the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO).

The entire region has already reported more than 8.65 million cases in the first five months of 2024 – almost twice as many as the more than 4.5 million cases reported in all of 2023, which was a record at the time.

The southern cone of the Americas has accounted for most of the cases in the first half of 2024, with Brazil registering 7.2 million alone. But now, the southern region is seeing a significant decrease in infections, while Central America and the Caribbean are starting to enter their peak dengue seasons, according to PAHO.

“Honduras has entered the epidemic zone due to the increase in cases in all departments of the country, as well as the number of patient admissions in all hospitals in the country due to this disease,” the Honduran Health Ministry said Friday.

Honduras has reported the second-most cases in the Central American Isthmus and Mexico Subregion this year, trailing only Mexico, which has counted more than 69,000.

PAHO and the World Health Organisation recommend that countries in those areas “adopt the necessary measures to prepare the response to the increase in dengue, including the organisation of health services to ensure adequate clinical management, prevention of complications, and avoid saturation of specialised care services.”

Dengue is a mosquito-borne virus that is spread mainly through the Aedes aegypti mosquito, also known to carry several other viruses, such as yellow fever, chikungunya, and Zika, according to the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It causes flu-like symptoms and can lead to death in extreme cases.

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