More Than 100,000 Infected, 200 Dead From Dengue Fever Outbreak In Peru

(Photo by Ernesto BENAVIDES / AFP) (Photo by ERNESTO BENAVIDES/AFP via Getty Images)

Kay Smythe News and Commentary Writer
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At least 200 people have died and more than 100,000 are confirmed to be suffering from an outbreak of Dengue fever in Peru, according to reports published in early June.

The majority of the deaths occurred in northern Peru, where hospitals and health care providers have exceeded all capacity, according to Reuters. It is believed to be the worst outbreak on record, and could get significantly worse as the El Niño brings heavier precipitation and breeding grounds for mosquitoes.

The Ministry of Health stated that more than 11.3 million people have been protected through larval control and fumigation. Some 4 million homes were also “intervened” to eliminate larvae, eggs, and adult mosquitos in an attempt to mitigate the outbreak.

Minister Rosa Gutiérrez reported that the nation is currently going through a “mega fumigation campaign,” with total control over cities. Peru is currently under a two-month state of emergency to allow the government to intervene with the crisis.

Dengue fever is transmitted through mosquito bites. The symptoms include severe pain in one’s eyes, head, muscles, joints, a high fever, nausea, vomiting, and overall fatigue, Reuters reported. (RELATED: ‘It’s Just A Matter Of Time’: Scientists Issue Warning As Deadly, Ebola-Like Virus Spreads)

There is currently one Dengue fever vaccine approved for use in children who have had a previous dengue infection and live in areas where the virus is prevalent, according to the CDC. As only one in four people who contract Dengue feel sick from the virus, the rates of sickness and deaths under the current epidemic are serious. There is no treatment for the disease itself — only symptoms.