The Argentina National Ministry of Health reports that up to epidemiological week 11 of 2023 (from March 12 to 18), 9,388 cases of dengue were reported in the country, of which 8,504 acquired the infection in Argentina.
At the moment, the circulation of this virus has been identified in 13 jurisdictions: Buenos Aires (3 localities), Autonomous City of Buenos Aires, Catamarca (2 localities), Chaco (2 localities), Corrientes (2 localities), Córdoba (1 locality ), Entre Ríos (1 location), Formosa (2 locations), Jujuy (3 locations), Salta (9 locations), Santa Fe (16 locations), Santiago del Estero (6 locations) and Tucumán (15 locations).
Regarding chikungunya fever, 528 cases have been registered so far, of which 166 acquired the infection in Argentina, 129 are under investigation and 233 acquired the infection outside the country. At the moment, the circulation of this virus has been confirmed in 5 jurisdictions: Buenos Aires (4 locations), City of Buenos Aires, Corrientes (1 location), Córdoba (1 location) and Formosa (3 locations).
Concerning dengue, in the last four weeks 8,001 cases were confirmed, with an average of 2,000 cases per week. This value is 30 percent lower than the average registered during the same period of 2020 (the year in which we experienced the largest epidemic in our country since the reemergence of the disease in 1998).
Dengue is a viral disease transmitted by the bite of the Aedes genus mosquito, mainly by Aedes aegypti. When the mosquito feeds on the blood of a person infected with the Dengue virus, it acquires the virus and after 8 to 12 days it is capable of transmitting it to a healthy person through its bite.
Chikungunya fever is a viral disease that, like the dengue virus, is transmitted by the bite of infected Aedes mosquitoes. The name means “one who hunches over” as it describes the bent appearance of some people who suffer from it due to the severe joint pain it causes.
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The symptoms of dengue are fever accompanied by one or more of the following: pain behind the eyes, headache, muscle pain, and joint pain, nausea and vomiting, intense tiredness, blotchy appearance of the skin, and itching and/or bleeding from the nose. and gums.
The symptoms of chikungunya fever usually begin 3 to 7 days after the mosquito bite. The most common symptom is the sudden onset of fever, often accompanied by joint pain. Other symptoms that may appear are: muscle pain, headache, nausea, fatigue and skin rash. Severe joint pain usually lasts a few days, but can persist for months, affecting full recovery and return to daily activities.
In the presence of any of these symptoms it is very important to consult a doctor early, not self-medicate and avoid mosquito bites.
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Dengue and chikungunya prevention measures
The main way these diseases are transmitted is through the bites of infected mosquitoes. That is why the most important dengue and chikungunya prevention measure is the elimination of all mosquito breeding sites, that is, all containers that contain water, both inside and around homes.
If the containers cannot be eliminated because they are used frequently, mosquito access to their interior must be prevented (covering tanks, cisterns and/or cisterns) or prevent them from accumulating water, turning (buckets, basins, drums), emptying and brushing frequently (pot holders, drinking fountains), or putting them under cover (returnable bottles). It is also advisable to place mosquito netting on the grilles.
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To avoid mosquito bites, it is recommended to use repellent, always following the instructions on the package. In turn, it is recommended to wear long-sleeved clothing and light colors. To protect babies (who cannot use repellent), nets or tulle should be placed over cribs and strollers. In relation to the home, it is important to place mosquito nets on doors and windows, and use environmental repellents such as tablets (interior) or spirals (exterior).
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The application of insecticide by fumigation is indicated only in an outbreak situation and under the methodological indications of the current national regulations. The insecticide only serves to eliminate adult mosquitoes that are transmitting the disease, it does not eliminate immature forms of the mosquito: eggs, larvae and pupae; Therefore, it is not enough to control these diseases if breeding grounds for new mosquitoes are not controlled and eliminated.
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