By Robert Herriman  @infectiousdiseasenews

Although the number of dengue cases reported in this year’s Reunion epidemic has decreased significantly in the past month and a half–about 300 cases reported per week compared to more than 1300 mid-April at the height of the epidemic–health authorities raised the epidemic level from a 3 (low intensity epidemic) to a 4 (medium intensity epidemic).

Image/ARS Indian Ocean

Officials say this decision is motivated by a significant epidemic risk at the return of the austral summer, justifying taking advantage of the winter to further strengthen the means of fighting the epidemic.

The objective of the transition to level 4 is to challenge all the actors involved and more broadly the population of Reunion for a collective and massive mobilization during the austral winter to stop as much as possible the spread of the dengue virus before the return of summer conditions.

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Since the beginning of the epidemic in 2018, more than 23,000 confirmed cases have been reported. More than 16,000 cases have been reported since January 1 this year.

Over 700 hospitalizations and 15 fatalities have also been recorded.