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Puerto Rico Declares Public Health Emergency as Dengue Cases Surge

An infographic explaining the transmission of dengue virus and its consequences, including symptoms and complications.

Puerto Rico has officially declared a public health emergency in response to a significant increase in dengue cases. According to Puerto Rico Secretary of Health Carlos Mellado, the territory has already recorded 549 cases of dengue this year, surpassing historical numbers.

Dengue, the most common mosquito-borne virus globally, is primarily spread by the Aedes aegypti mosquito. The virus can cause symptoms such as fever, nausea, rash, and severe complications in some cases, including shock and internal bleeding.

To combat the spread of dengue, health officials in Puerto Rico are urging residents to use insect repellent, eliminate mosquito breeding sites, and take precautions such as wearing protective clothing and installing mosquito nets.

While there is a dengue vaccine available for children in endemic areas, including Puerto Rico, there is currently no vaccine for adults in the United States. Dengue outbreaks, although occasional, are more commonly reported in Puerto Rico due to its tropical climate.

Efforts to control dengue in Puerto Rico are ongoing, but health officials warn that climate change may contribute to the spread of the virus by creating more favorable conditions for mosquito survival and viral transmission.

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