The incidence of dengue fever in Colombia rose by 15% in the last two weeks, with a total of 90,000 cases and 99 deaths from the disease so far this year, El Colombiano reported Friday.
According to Colombia’s National Health Institute (INS), 90,360 cases have been reported thus far in 2010, a jump from the 78,000 and 93 deaths the institute reported two weeks ago.
According to the INS, the most heavily affected areas of the country include the department of Valle del Cauca in south-eastern Colombia, which reported 24 deaths, Santander in the northeast, which reported eleven deaths, and the central departments of Meta and Tolina, each registering ten deaths.
The INS also noted an increase of reported cases in the departments of Arauca, Antioquia, Cundinamarca, Huila, and Bolívar, and urged local governments to “strengthen their interdisciplinary strategies for executing contingency plans.”
According to the report, the Colombian government and the Pan-American Health Organization have allocated COP800 million to coordinate response efforts to the disease.
In 2009, Colombia witnessed 71,000 recorded cases of dengue fever and 44 fatalities.
The increased amount of dengue cases and deaths has been attributed to a rise in temperatures in the country.
Dengue fever is common in many Central American and Caribbean countries. Its symptoms include high fever, nausea, rashes, backache and headache.
Most dengue cases are not fatal, but misdiagnosis or delayed treatment can cause death as some cases may lead to severe gastrointestinal bleeding and shock
Dengue fever is a mosquito-born, life-threatening disease similar to malaria, which occurs widely in tropical regions of the world. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), two-fifths of the world’s population, or 2.5 billion people, are at risk of the disease, and that “there may be 50 million dengue infections worldwide every year.”
The WHO estimate that dengue fever is “now endemic in more than 100 countries.”