Dengue cases are increasing without federal funds for preventative measures

In Mexico, dengue infections increased in the first half of the year. Compared to January 1 to June 15, 2019, and 2020, the positive cases went from 2,882 to 4,045. And the worst infection period comes with the arrival of the rains and the proliferation of the transmitting mosquito.

However, the National Center for Preventive Programs and Disease Control (Cenaprece) reports that it has a lower budget for the purchase of insecticides. Last year it received $213.9 million pesos (MDP) to purchases the chemicals in 32 states, but this year it will only exercise 192.3 MDP, none of which has been received this year.

The infections will rebound between August and October, and the current infection rate complicates things for Jalisco, Veracruz, Nayarit, Tabasco, Quintana Roo, Colima, Michoacán, Guerrero, Campeche and Morelos.

The problem is that Cenaprece confirms that until the last day of last May, it had not received a single peso this year to purchase insecticides for the states, so that preventive measures depend entirely on local governments.

The Federal Government has neglected this health problem, which last year left a balance of 41,505 sick and 191 deceased in the country (Jalisco was the national leader with 11,727 infections and 49 deaths).

In addition, last year, the Federal Health Secretariat closed 2019 with more than 268,000 probable cases of dengue, in addition to the 41,505 confirmed, which were being analyzed by laboratories. However, the government never updated the confirmed infections, leaving the 268,000 cases unverified or unreported. Thus, the records of thousands of people who went to a hospital on suspicion of Dengue were left in limbo.

In the first week of January 2020, the Secretariat did not report infections, when it had to continue with the report or confirmation of cases inherited from the previous year.

COVID-19 and Dengue duel infections

Hugo López-Gatell, undersecretary of Prevention and Promotion of Federal Health, said that it is possible that a person could have dengue and, at the same time, be infected with COVID- 19, which represents a challenge for the diagnosis.

Until June 9, only one person in the State of Nayarit had knowledge of duel infections of dengue and COVID-19.

It can be challenging because fever is a cardinal symptom of both diseases, as is headache and body pain.

What may help in the assessment is that the specific symptoms of the new coronavirus, such as a sore throat or runny nose, are less frequent in dengue.

On the other hand, in dengue cases, eye pain is very characteristic.

Of course, there are tests available to detect dengue and COVID-19, however the availability of tests are limited in the struggling healthcare system in Mexico.

“This can become a challenge at the population level. It already happened to us in the influenza pandemic during 2009, where we had, particularly in Jalisco, a huge dengue outbreak … the largest we had ever had.” That is why preventive measures among the population are essential to prevent statistics from skyrocketing in both conditions.

Jalisco remains in second place for dengue infections

The Federal Health Secretariat reports that in epidemiological week 24, with data as of June 15, 2020, the entities with the most confirmed cases of dengue are Veracruz (846), Jalisco (701), Tabasco (382), Michoacán (318) , Guerrero (257), Nayarit (243), San Luis Potosí (227), Quintana Roo (227), Yucatán (130) and Chiapas (665).

Although Jalisco has remained second for two weeks, infections have increased year-to-year, since there are 429 more people with dengue than in the same period of 2019.

4,050 probable cases are also registered in Jalsico.

By incidence rate, Jalisco reports 8.38 cases for every 100,000 inhabitants, which places it in fifth place. This means an increase compared to the previous two weeks, when it was in eighth place by incidence.

The municipalities with the highest incidence are Zapotitlán de Vadillo, San Gabriel, Acatlán de Juárez, and Jocotepec.

The State Government has increased its budget to purchase insecticides to cover the federal government’s budget shortfall, although “subject to budgetary sufficiency and programmatic adjustments”.


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