Reported cases of dengue fever in Colombia have more than doubled since last year, according to the government.
As of Feb 11, 5,174 cases of dengue fever were reported, compared to 2,222 for the same period last year. Of the cases reported, 51 have been deemed serious and the fever has led to at least two deaths.
Health Minister Beatriz Londoño and National Health Institute director Juan Gonzalo Lopez issued a statement requesting health officials to be extra vigilant in their treatment, prevention, and reporting of the disease.
The departments with the largest number of reported cases are Huila (14%), Meta (10%), Valle (8%) and Caqueta (8%).
Dengue fever is a viral disease transmitted by mosquitoes and it typically presents itself with common symptoms such as headache, fatigue and fever. As it has no cure, health officials are encouraging people to take preventative measures such as using insect repellant, wearing long clothing, and removing or covering any standing water.
Peru, Bolivia, and Ecuador have also reported increased incidents of dengue. The Pan American Health Organization attributed this increase to changing weather patterns which have facilitated the proliferation of mosquitoes carrying dengue.