The mosquito borne viral diseases of dengue fever and chikungunya are skyrocketing in some countries of South America this year.
Of the 554,890 dengue fever cases in the Americas reported to date in 2015, 460,502 probable and confirmed cases have been reported in hard hit Brazil this year, or 83 percent of all cases.
The number of confirmed cases in Sao Paolo have tripled compared to the same time last year with 20,764 through April 11 this year versus 7,126 cases in 2014. A severe drought in the area has been blamed for the uptick of cases in the city although city officials are not calling it a epidemic.
“São Paulo is still not living through an epidemic,” said Adjunct Health Secretary Paulo Puccini at a news conference on Wednesday. “I’ll only speak of an epidemic when the entire São Paulo municipality reaches a certain level [of infection]. For now, we are calling it an outbreak.”
Concerning dengue related fatalities, Brazil also accounts for 83 percent of deaths in the hemisphere with 132 of the 158 fatalities reported.
In Colombia, chikungunya cases continue to mount as the Andes area country reported another 20,000 cases bringing the total to more than 275,000.
The total autochthonous chikungunya cases reported in the Western hemisphere since it’s first appearance in the Caribbean in December 2013 now stands at 1,367,343 suspected and confirmed cases.