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Dengue is here to stay in Uruguay, says virologist

Montevideo, March 25 (Prensa Latina) Dengue has arrived in Uruguay to stay, stated virologist Juan Cristina in an interview released here today.

The expert from the Faculty of Sciences of the University of the Republic considered that climate change contributes to the incidence of a disease that is more typical of tropical latitudes.

Cristina stated that currently the transmitting mosquito, Aedes Aegypti, is found throughout the national territory.

“To the extent that we have this more tropical climate,” with high temperatures and abundant rains, and “we do not take measures against the mosquito,” dengue “can give us a very big headache,” he warned to La Diaria.

The virologist pointed out that, as climate change “acts in the region,” Uruguay’s climate “is becoming tropicalized” and “diseases that were previously exotic to us are coming south.”

He noted that the recent rains and floods contribute to the spread of dengue and its vector.

“This is here to stay; We have to get used to these things,” he pointed out.

According to reports from the Ministry of Public Health (MSP), between March 4 and 22, confirmed patients jumped from 35 to 148, which represents a growth of 322 percent in less than 20 days. In that same period, indigenous cases went from two to 57.

The latest MSP report shows cases of indigenous dengue in several areas of the country: 32 in Salto, 10 in Paysandú, 10 in Montevideo and one in Maldonado, Florida, Durazno, Artigas and Rivera.

Reports of imported dengue are distributed practically throughout the national territory. There are currently 16 people hospitalized for dengue, two of them in intensive care.

The virologist stated that around 70 percent of those with the disease show “minor symptoms”; but, to the extent that there is a growth in those infected, the remaining 30 percent “may be a number important enough to complicate the health system.”

He also pointed out that two types of dengue were identified in Uruguay, which complicates the epidemiological situation.