Eight people have died of Dengue since the beginning of this year, the highest number of cases since 2001. Most of these cases have occurred in Loreto, a north eastern province in the Peruvian jungle. Health officials believe that the high number of deaths is due to the infiltration of the most aggressive type of Dengue, the Asian/American strain.
The national and local governments are trying to decrease the number of Aedes Aegypti mosquitoes, the disease vector. Government workers are going from home to home, fumigating houses in Iquitos, the capital of Loreto, and eliminating pockets of stagnant water where the mosquito breeds. So far they have fumigated sixty thousand homes and have collected 1,020 tons of waste.
The health ministry has also initiated awareness campaigns to teach people in the affected areas how to prevent infection. The “Jornada de Inamovilidad” initiative on Wednesday of this week succeeded in stopping activities for a day and restricting vehicle transportation. This measure allowed for more people to be at home, which facilitated the work of the two thousand government workers and volunteers. The Iquitos hospital is also adding more beds and expanding an area for patient observation.