On Thursday, the Peruvian health ministry reported that over 200 people had died from dengue fever this year, with over 130,000 cases confirmed. These numbers are expected to rise as El Nio brings torrential rains and insects.
High fever, headache, vomiting, muscle and joint pain, and occasionally death are symptoms of dengue fever, a tropical disease spread by the aedes aegypti mosquito.
El Nio, a natural climate phenomenon, has been cited by the country’s health officials as a possible cause of the uptick in cases.
El Nio is a cyclical warming of the world’s oceans and weather that increases the likelihood of rainfall and flooding in the Pacific as a result of tropical storms.
Due to the accumulation of water in cities, mosquito populations explode as a result of an increase in rainfall.
Officials in Peru are trying to stop the spread of disease by forbidding people to keep still water in open containers.
“Dengue kills,” Health Minister Rosa Gutiérrez warned in a statement on Tuesday. So, please assist me in destroying all potential mosquito breeding grounds.
On Thursday, June 8th, El Nio was officially declared by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) of the United States. For the previous three years, the colder La Nia pattern has prevailed.
According to experts, this year has an especially ominous outlook.
In 2016, the world saw its warmest year on record, following a period of intense El Nio.
“We’re in unprecedented territory,” said Michelle L’Heureux, a meteorologist with NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center.
The Peruvian government has declared a “state of emergency” for two months in 18 of the country’s 24 provinces due to the “imminent danger from heavy rainfall” this year and next. The proclamation was signed by President Dina Boluarte on Thursday.
This is the largest number of illnesses and deaths since 2017, when there were 68,290 cases, according to Gutiérrez.