Officials with the National Emergency Operations Center (COEN) in Peru are reporting 5,924 confirmed cases of dengue nationwide through Apr. 22, with 60 percent reported from the northern coast, according to a El Comercio report (computer translated). Thirteen dengue related deaths have been reported.

Aedes aegypti/CDC
Aedes aegypti/CDC

In addition, 13,897 probable cases are also reported.

The northwestern city of Piura has accounted for about a quarter of the cases year-to-date. This is followed by La Libertad (961), Lambayeque (688), Ica (617) and Ayacucho (388).

The coastal El Niño is being pointed at as the cause of the increase in that region.

Health officials have started an aerial spraying campaign in people’s houses and common areas such as schools, in order to prevent the spread of the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which transmits the virus.

Peru reported 31,000 probable and confirmed dengue cases in 2016, including 41 fatalities.

Dengue is a viral infection transmitted by the bite of an infected mosquito. There are four closely related but antigenically different serotypes of the virus that can cause dengue (DEN1, DEN 2, DEN 3, DEN 4).

  • Dengue Fever (DF) – marked by an onset of sudden high fever, severe headache, pain behind the eyes, and pain in muscles and joints. Some may also have a rash and varying degree of bleeding from various parts of the body (including nose, mouth and gums or skin bruising).Dengue has a wide spectrum of infection outcome (asymptomatic to symptomatic). Symptomatic illness can vary from dengue fever (DF) to the more serious dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF).
  • Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever (DHF) – is a more severe form, seen only in a small proportion of those infected. DHF is a stereotypic illness characterized by 3 phases; febrile phase with high continuous fever usually lasting for less than 7 days; critical phase (plasma leaking) lasting 1-2 days usually apparent when fever comes down, leading to shock if not detected and treated early; convalescence phase lasting 2-5 days with improvement of appetite, bradycardia (slow heart rate), convalescent rash (white patches in red background), often accompanied by generalized itching (more intense in palms and soles), and diuresis (increase urine output).
  • Dengue Shock Syndrome (DSS) — Shock syndrome is a dangerous complication of dengue infection and is associated with high mortality. Severe dengue occurs as a result of secondary infection with a different virus serotype. Increased vascular permeability, together with myocardial dysfunction and dehydration, contribute to the development of shock, with resultant multiorgan failure.