Puerto Rico Declares Public Health Emergency Amid Unprecedented Dengue Outbreak

Puerto Rico Experiences Public Health Crisis with Surge in Dengue Cases

Dengue, a mosquito-borne illness that has surged throughout the Americas this year, has prompted Puerto Rico to declare a public health emergency. Health officials in Puerto Rico have identified 549 cases of dengue across the U.S. territory of 3.2 million people, with almost half the cases concentrated in the capital of San Juan.

Also known as “breakbone fever,” dengue can cause headaches, soreness, fever, and rashes—and, in extreme cases, death. This year, cases of dengue have surpassed historical records, with major outbreaks reported across large swathes of the Americas, including Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil, and Peru. Last year, parts of Florida were put under a mosquito-borne illness alert due to dengue.

The emergency declaration has no immediate impact on travel to or from Puerto Rico, which is a popular holiday destination. However, it will make it easier for the health department to access funding for detection and prevention efforts. Health Secretary Carlos Mellado stated that this year’s dengue outbreak has been unprecedented and that they are taking all necessary steps to control its spread.

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