By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The health officials of Rio de Janeiro are alert. The number of dengue cases in January and February in the city increased by 45 percent compared to the first two months of 2018, with more than a thousand reported cases. Officials have launched a campaign to reduce the contamination of mosquito-borne diseases.
"We need action to get the population and governments to work together, by working in the mosquito presence centers, which is the only effective way to prevent these diseases," said Rafael Pinheiro, coordinator for Environmental Health Surveillance at the Municipal Health Secretariat. from Rio, to reporters on Saturday.
In the city of Rio de Janeiro alone, two thousand agents work directly to prevent dengue and other diseases transmitted by the Aedes aegypti.
According to officials of the Environmental Surveillance Unit, the region of the capital where more cases of infection occur is the western zone, especially in the Santa Cruz and Campo Grande neighborhoods.
As far as the authorities concerned are concerned, the cases of dengue in the months of March, April and May, months with moderate rainfall and high temperatures, are increasing in the city.
Officials say that 5,501 cases of dengue fever were reported in 2018, a number that could rise much higher this year, based on the statistical trend to date.
The Aedes aegypti mosquito not only sends dengue but also chikungunya and zika.
"In the clean environment mosquitoes do not spread; places where there is no waste, tires or open water containers. This is collective action. If you take care of your garden and your neighbor does not, the mosquito will reproduce there. It is the work of a whole society, "concluded Pinheiro.