The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) has issued a new epidemiological alert, urging countries in the Americas to intensify efforts to control the Aedes aegypti mosquito, the primary vector transmitting dengue fever. 

The alert comes in response to a significant surge in reported cases in several countries during the early weeks of 2024.

According to the alert issued on February 16, the Americas recorded the highest number of dengue cases in 2023, with a total of 4,565,911 cases and 2,340 deaths.

This high transmission rate has continued into 2024, with 673,267 cases and 102 deaths reported as of early February.

These figures represent a 157% increase over the same period last year and a 225% increase over the five-year average.

PAHO is urging countries to maintain and strengthen surveillance, early diagnosis, and timely treatment for dengue cases. It also calls for measures to organise healthcare networks to facilitate patient access and management, aiming to prevent complications and deaths.

In addition, PAHO is calling for intensified communication campaigns to encourage community participation in reducing mosquito breeding sites and seeking medical care promptly.