It is still too early to celebrate the slowdown in dengue fever in Brazil,

It is still too early to celebrate the slowdown in dengue fever in Brazil,

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In Brazil, there are already 2.5 million probable cases of dengue. However, in the last week, the Southeast region, as well as the North and Central-West regions, began to show signs of a slowdown in new cases of the disease transmitted by Aedes aegypti, suggesting that the peak has passed. The city of Rio de Janeiro announced the end of the epidemic.

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Infectious disease specialist Juliana Salles, leader of the São Paulo Doctors Union (Simesp), points out, however, that it is still too early to celebrate.

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“Many municipalities with a high population rate, like here in São Paulo, still have a high number of cases and uncontrolled outbreaks,” says Salles. The number of confirmed dengue cases in the state of São Paulo since the beginning of the year surpassed the 400,000 mark this Tuesday (2). The data comes from the State Department of Health, which also registered a record increase in the number of deaths from the disease: with 33 new deaths in the last 24 hours, the total number of victims reaches 190. At least 350 deaths are under investigation.

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“These numbers [da desaceleração] represent the control of outbreaks and the use of the vaccine, which prevents lethality and progression to hospitalization and serious cases, in places where vaccination is being carried out properly. But in many other places, such as, for example, the city of São Paulo itself, the issue is still behind and the vaccination strategy is yet to begin”, explains the doctor. Of all the cities in São Paulo that have recorded deaths so far, the capital leads the ranking, with 33 in total.

The vaccination campaign in the country began in February, but, initially, only 521 municipalities were covered due to the limited quantity of the QDenga vaccine, manufactured by a Japanese laboratory and supplied by the Unified Health System (SUS).

The city of São Paulo hopes to begin administering doses of the dengue vaccine next Thursday (4). This week, the municipality was included among the next vaccination points, along with 164 other locations.

“It is a safe vaccine that has proven effects. It has an efficacy of up to 80% in preventing, mainly, the severity of the case and hospitalization. It has some restrictions, for example, as it is a live attenuated virus, it cannot be used in pregnant women and in immunosuppressed populations, with some underlying diseases that are detected when the person looks for the vaccination schedule. But it is a safe vaccine. So, it is a safe strategy. Where it is being used, it has helped precisely in control of the severity of cases. And it is extremely important that the entire population uses the health system to get this vaccine”, declares Salles.

In the Ministry of Health’s vaccination strategy, the target audience is children and adolescents aged between 10 and 14 years old. The infectious disease specialist at Simesp emphasizes that, even those who cannot yet receive the vaccine, must pay attention to prevention methods.

“To prevent dengue cases, there are two types of action: individual actions and collective actions within the scope of public health. Individual actions, repellent, the use of screens [nas janelas], home outbreak control, stagnant water control and larvae reproduction are important. But the actions of endemic agents in controlling outbreaks are also extremely important. […] And there are larvicides and products that are even used to prevent the reproduction of these mosquitoes in common environments. This depends on health professionals and a properly assembled public infrastructure network. Here in the city of São Paulo, for example, there is a shortage of endemic agents. We would have the structure to have at least twice as many endemic disease agents as workers, municipal employees. And today we don’t have that complete set of professionals”, he laments.

The full interview, carried out by presenter Luana Ibelli, is available in this Tuesday’s edition (02) of Central Brazilwhich is available on the channel Brazil in fact on Youtube.

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Editing: Matheus Alves de Almeida

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