The number of dengue fever cases in Brazil have increased by approximately 200,000 cases in the past month, according to new data from the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) Friday.

Aedes aegypti/CDC
Aedes aegypti/CDC

As of June 12, about 1,026,000 probable and confirmed cases have been reported. The latest numbers from the PAHO this past Friday puts Brazil’s case count at about 1,250,000 probable and confirmed cases in 2015.  In 2013, the count exceeded 1.4 million cases.

In the Americas as a whole, more than 1.5 million cases have been reported this year. Mexico, Colombia and Paraguay have all reported in the 40,000 case ballpark.

Dengue fever is an infectious disease carried by mosquitoes and caused by any of four related dengue viruses. This disease used to be called “break-bone fever” because it sometimes causes severe joint and muscle pain that feels like bones are breaking.

Although the World Health Organization (WHO) says on their recent fact sheet that they currently estimate there may be 50–100 million dengue infections worldwide every year, researchers from the University of Oxford and the Wellcome Trust, using cartographic approaches, estimate there to be 390 million dengue infections per year worldwide.

There are three types of dengue fever in order of less severe to most: the typical uncomplicated dengue fever, dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHS) and dengue shock syndrome (DSS).

There is not a vaccine for dengue fever. There is no treatment for dengue, just treat the symptoms.

In 2015, nearly 425,000 locally acquired chikungunya cases have been reported in the Western hemisphere, with almost seven out 10 cases being reported from Colombia (although chikungunya reporting is almost non-existent in many countries in the region).

Mexico has reported 2,044 confirmed local transmission of the mosquito borne virus. However, this number may be dramatically lower than the reality in Mexico. Local media have reported 10,000 suspected cases of chikungunya in Chiapas (computer translated).

Prior to 2013, chikungunya virus disease was found primarily in Africa, Asia, Europe and in the Indian and Pacific Ocean areas. The illness draws its name from an African word meaning “to become contorted” as most patients suffer from severe joint pain. Chikungunya is rarely fatal, but can cause fever, joint and muscle pain, headaches, fatigue and rash. It can also lead to chronic joint pain.