Peru Declares Health Emergency as Dengue Outbreak 'Imminent'

  • Peru declared a health emergency across most of the country on Monday, February 26, as a heat wave and heavy rains have led to a spike in dengue fever cases.
  • The South American nation's death toll due to the virus has risen to 32 so far this year, Health Minister Cesar Vasquez. Notably, total cases also climbed to 31,300 in the first eight weeks of the year, Vasquez said, up from 24,981 in the first seven weeks.
  • The Peruvian government's cabinet approved the motion to declare a health emergency on Monday, Vasquez told journalists, hours after he said a dengue outbreak was "imminent”.
  • "There are 20 regions (out of 25) that will be declared in a health emergency due to dengue," Vasquez said in an earlier interview on local radio station RPP. The declaration boosts resources to health responders in the affected areas.
  • Most of the cases seen so far in Peru have been in the country's north, where hospitals are already overwhelmed. Last year, 428 people in Peru died from dengue, with 269,216 infected, according to official data.

 (Source: Reuters)