Dengue Fever Declares Public Health Emergency in Puerto Rico, Surpassing Historical Records

Puerto Rico Experiences Public Health Crisis with Surge in Dengue Cases

Puerto Rico has declared a public health emergency over the mosquito-borne illness of dengue, which has surged throughout the Americas this year. With almost half the cases concentrated in San Juan, the capital city, officials have identified 549 cases of dengue across the U.S. territory of 3.2 million people. This year, cases of dengue have surpassed historical records, according to Health Secretary Carlos Mellado in a statement.

Known as “breakbone fever,” dengue can cause headaches, soreness, fever, and rashes—and, in extreme cases, death. Despite this emergency declaration having no immediate impact on travel to or from Puerto Rico—which is a popular holiday destination—it will make it easier for the health department to access funding for detection and prevention. Major outbreaks of dengue have occurred this year across large swathes of the Americas, including Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil, and Peru. Last year, parts of Florida were put under a mosquito-borne illness alert due to dengue.

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