Bolivian health authorities report the number of dengue cases in the country have risen to 12,375 as of Friday. The death toll has also risen to 39 year to date.
Santa Cruz department has seen the most cases with 9,031, followed by Beni 1,308 Tarija 1,190 La Paz 373, Pando 88, Chuquisaca 247 and Cochabamba 138.
Bolivia’s hospitals are “absolutely overwhelmed,” says Neelika Malavige, head of the Dengue Global Program at the Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative.
The volume of people affected makes it harder to treat them, she says, reducing capacity for the close monitoring of plasma leakage and fluid restoration required, which “leads to patients developing more complications and unfortunately higher mortality rates”.
Children have been worst affected by the current spread in Bolivia, and globally too, due to having weaker immune systems; a second dengue infection is five times more likely to kill a child than an adult.
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