The Dengue Outbreak (If You Are Going To Rio You Should Know About It)

In case you haven't been reading the international section of the papers lately, a rising dengue epidemic that has infected more than 57,000 people, and killed at least 67, has taken over Rio de Janeiro.

Although the mosquito-borne disease had been successfully eradicated throughout the Americas in the 80s, the lack of proper sanitation, water storage, and sewage, in Rio's densely populated favelas has become e new breeding ground for a dengue epidemic.

The population of Rio is angry at the government that measures to prevent the outbreak were not put into effect earlier, and that there are not enough hospital beds available or doctors on duty to take care of the people infected. The decision announced yesterday to bring in doctors from other states, and even the consideration of asking Cuba for help, has shed light on the fact that the city and state government are so unprepared to tackle the epidemic that they are not even aware of the actual number of doctors available. In spite of the city arguing that it is not prepared to keep healthcare centers open 24 hours a day, O Globo Online reported today that Rio has the second largest contingent of doctors in the country, and that 71% are associated on a certain level to public healthcare.

As the blame game continues as to who is responsible for the outbreak, more than 1,200 military personnel arrived in Rio to spray insecticide in hard-hit neighborhoods, and erect emergency hospital tents. The population is now being educated about ways of preventing the breeding of infected mosquitoes.

Symptoms of dengue include high fever, severe headache, backache, joint pains and eye pain, nausea, vomiting, and a rash. There is no vaccine available.

I am not by any means implying that you will be affected just by visiting Rio, but I would certainly skip a tourist trip to the favelas.

Comments

Obrigado. I am visiting Rio in two weeks. Thank you for putting it in perspective.

It's been in Rio for many years, and I always just use bug spray with DEET when I am there. I have friends who have gotten it, and I guess I have just been lucky. It sucks for Rio that this will hurt tourism, (after having a year when Carnaval tourism was up 35%)!

olha falando serio, eu na verdade nao entendo porque turistas vao fazer tour da favela.... tem coisas muuito mais bonitas e interessantes no Rio do que favela.
E otimo voce colocar essa informacao aqui no site, pra deixar todo mundo de olhos abertos.

Lemme write the same comment in English, so nobody is left out, after all the whole site is in English ! :)

" I honestly don;t understand why tourists go on favela tours, there are far more beautiful and interesting things to see and do in Rio, then to go in a tour of the Favela. I also thing it's wonderful that this information is posted on the blog, because it makes everyone just pay attention to their surroundings when in Rio."

that's all.

So I guess Luciano Huck got dengue at a Favela? I'm Brazilian and I have no business going to Rio until this mess is taken care of. And as usual, the population is looking to blame the government. Have they done their part in being diligent with their own houses as the campaigns have surely instructed? I think it begs the question.

I lived in the Leblon section of Rio de Janeiro for about two (2)years and had an interesting conversation with a woman from Germany who lives in Brazil at the Health Club I belonged to at the time "Estacao Do Corpo." She told me that few people here have screens on their windows and after she was infected with Dengue she immediately ordered screens. I was really amazed that a country like Brazil does not every window and doorway screened against flying bugs but why are Brazilians so against using screens. There are many bugs that bit me including one that looked like a small Black Butterfly. The dermatologist who I went to said that those bugs really like people like you, I am very fair skinned and of Irish descent. So Brazilians should wake and start putting screens on their windows
What say you about that idea?
Lawrence

Thanks for putting out the alert. I will also add the Dominican Republic to the list. It's been pretty bad there the last year. It's the same problem: standing water breeds mosquitos: old tires, blocked drains, empty cans--the mosquitos that carry dengue breed in such areas. So, if you're going to the tropics, just be careful.

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