More than 2 million dengue fever cases have been reported in the Western hemisphere through mid-November, according to the Pan American Health Organization, and three quarters of the cases are from Brazil.

Aedes aegypti/CDC
Aedes aegypti/CDC

1,500,000 dengue fever cases have been reported in Brazil through Nov. 14, up 176% compared to the same period in 2014 when 555,000 cases were seen, according to a UOL Notícias report (computer translated).

In addition, the number of dengue related deaths increased 79%, from 453 deaths in 2014 to 811 in 2015.

Nearly 1 million cases, or two-thirds of cases, were reported from the Southeast Region of the country. This is followed by the Northeast (278,945 cases), Midwest (198,555 cases), South (51 784 cases) and North (30 143 cases).

The highest incidence of dengue is reported in Goiás, São Paulo and Pernambuco states.

Because the mosquito vector, Aedes aegypti is ever present in Brazil, other mosquito borne illnesses are being battled in Brazil to include chikungunya and Zika. According to the Ministry of Health, 199 municipalities are at risk for outbreaks of dengue, chikungunya and Zika.

During the above time frame, Brazil has reported 17,146 suspected cases of chikungunya, 6726 being confirmed. The new disease on the block, Zika virus, has now been laboratory confirmed in 18 states to include Roraima, Pará, Amazon, Roraima, Tocantins, Maranhao, Piaui, Ceara, Rio Grande do Norte, Paraiba, Pernambuco, Alagoas, Bahia, Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Espírito Santo, Mato Grosso and Paraná.

Local news source, Globo 1 (computer translated) reports that The Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz) in Pernambuco has shown that 7 patients diagnosed with Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS), which affects the nervous system and causes muscle weakness, had prior infection Zika virus.

The researchers believe that Zika was responsible for triggering the syndrome in these cases, showing the relationship of the virus and neurological complications. Fiocruz has the record 130 cases of GBS in the state – in 2014 were 9, according to the Department of Health.

739 suspected cases of microcephaly, identified in 160 municipalities in nine states in Brazil have been hypothesized as being linked to the presence of Zika virus infection in the region.

Fiocruz researcher, Carlos Brito noted, “This analysis precedes the microcephaly. There are 7 cases in which we isolated the virus, which proves that Zika can lead to frames neurological complications.”

Robert Herriman is a microbiologist and the Editor-in-Chief of Outbreak News Today and the Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch

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