Published on 07/11/2022 06:01
(credit: Mariana Lens)
Dengue in the Federal District has grown by 394.5% this year compared to the same period in 2021. The probable cases in the country’s capital reached 64,776 records, an exponential increase compared to January-October last year, which reported 21,082 suspected cases. Regarding deaths, the Department of Health of the Federal District (SES-DF) reported that in 2022, 11 deaths were recorded. The age group with the highest incidence of the disease is between 70 and 79 years. But the predominance is concentrated in women, who account for 55.3% of positive tests, while men only 44.6%.
High fever, malaise, lack of appetite and severe itching. Carlos Almeida (pseudonym), 48, describes the pain as excruciating. He contracted dengue fever in July of this year, and it is believed that he may have contracted it at home or in the work environment. And these two places, he said, have gardens in which several mosquitoes are crammed.
A computer technician, a resident of Lago Norte, describes that near his home, there have been several outbreaks of Aedes aegypti. Even doing his best to prevent the disease, he reported that he ended up contaminating himself. “Here (at home) we clean and spray pesticides and avoid standing water. But some areas may have escaped. We cannot guarantee that the neighbors are doing the same things,” he said.
For the first few days, symptoms were strong. He describes the food as “tasting like cardboard” and the confusion associated with this difficulty being transported to a health unit. At the scene, he was diagnosed with dehydration and needed a dose of intravenous saline to get better. The resident doctor in Lago Norte recommended that he drink a liter of water per day so that he does not need to be hospitalized. After the message was delivered, the pain and exhaustion passed through the days. Today, he doesn’t feel any sequel, but he doesn’t want to relive the nearly 30 days he had dengue.
For Professor of Epidemiology at the University of Brasilia (UnB) Wildo Navegantes, the resumption of daily activities by the population may have led to a greater accumulation of reservoirs in the urban environments of the country’s capital, favoring the spread of dengue mosquitoes. In addition, the specialist analyzes that government measures, such as sanitation work, were not introduced to alleviate cases. “This is, especially in remote areas, and it appears that there were no later educational and preventive activities to avoid an increase in these places,” explains the professor.
With the arrival of the rainy season, Wildo sees a possibility in the future that the general context of events will worsen until the beginning of 2023. He says that if the weather continues like this, mosquitoes could breed more easily and the scenario next year could end up deteriorating.
Mateos del Rosso, 22, is a resident of Lago Norte and fell ill in March of this year. He stated that the symptoms lasted about two weeks. The realtor recalls: “I had pain in my body, in my head, in my eyes, fever and nausea. I completely lost hunger and felt very sleepy.” The young man says that the pain disappeared quickly, between three or four days.
However, difficulty eating and fatigue in the body are the sensations that lasted longer. Matthews thinks it’s very likely that he was injured inside the house. “In Lago Norte, there are many parks, places where there is a lot of standing water,” he explains.
In addition to the estate agent, other family members contracted dengue fever. After many relatives went through hard times, the care at home became more intense regarding the possibility of mosquito infestations.
In the view of Mauro Nesquer Sánchez, an epidemiologist and professor in UnB’s Department of Public Health, dengue control is a shared responsibility of the government and the population. In light of this, it is important that both parties work together to contain the progression of the disease. He asserts that “the government provides human resources, especially environmental monitoring agents, who visit homes and businesses, and do educational and mosquito control work.”
With regard to the general community, Mauro advises that everyone has a civic duty to receive the monitoring teams and take the necessary precautions so that dengue does not worsen as a public health problem. The professor concludes, “Health education and control measures only have an effect if government and society work in synergy, incorporating attitudes that prevent vector spread and, as a consequence, disease transmission.”
The Department of Health says combat operations in the Federal District take place Monday through Friday, with the help of Environmental Watch, which divides several teams into blocks of each district and conducts backyard searches. Another important focus, according to the volume, is deserted places, which need to be constantly inspected and monitored.
In addition to the General Secretariat, bodies such as the Fire Department (CBMDF), Legal DF, Civil Defense, Urban Cleaning Service (SLU) and Public Security Secretariat (SSP) are involved in the work. According to the volume’s data, more than 2.1 million homes were inspected from January to September 2022. In the same period, about 531,000 potential deposits of the Aedes aegypti mosquito were eliminated.
* Interns under the supervision of Patrick Selvati
Cover by Correio Braziliense
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Do not leave standing water in pots, plants and tires
Use insect repellent
Dispose of household waste properly
Inform the authorities of an outbreak of dengue fever in the area
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