Government figures released on Thursday show a decline in the number of weekly reported cases of dengue fever in the majority of Colombia’s departments.
According to the country’s Health Ministry, there has been an important decline in the number of reported cases of dengue fever in 18 of the country’s 32 departments. Departments such as Boyaca, Vaupes, La Guajira and Putamayo saw a drop in the average number of weekly reported cases from 5,000 to 3,000, representing a 60% reduction.
The Ministry has also reported that the lethality rate of the disease has remained at 1.4%, significantly lower than the expected 2.5%, according to estimates by the World Health Organization, (WHO).
The report comes a week after the Colombia’s National Health Institute (INS) urged the government to “strengthen their interdisciplinary strategies for executing contingency plans” in tackling the disease, after it emerged that the total number of reported cases this year had reached 90,000.
The government attributes the swift decline to the effectiveness of newly implemented contingency plans, which include a strict adherence to guidelines and protocols for case management by local authorities, EPS and IPS.
Bogota urges departments with an increase in dengue fever to step up their efforts. Juan Gonzalo Lopez, director of the National Institute of Health urged Colombian citizens living in these departments “not to lower their guard” but instead intensify their efforts to control and contain the disease.
Dengue is a mosquito-born infection found in many of the world’s tropical and sub-tropical regions. According to WHO, two fifths of the world’s population is at risk from the disease, which potentially is life-threatening.