By George Powell, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Figures released by the Municipal Secretariat for Health have shown that the number of dengue-carrying mosquitoes is at its lowest in Rio since 2005. The figures do show, however, that while most of the state of Rio has seen progress over the past eight years, certain areas remain at risk to outbreaks of the infectious tropical disease, which is caused by the dengue virus and spread by mosquitoes.
The report shows that the risk of dengue fever in the neighborhoods of Oswaldo Cruz and Colégio in the Zona Norte (North Zone) remains high and that the levels in the two neighborhoods are considerably above the figures declared safe by the World Health Organization.
The statistics were collected in Rio between October 13th and 19th by sanitation officers from LIRAa, Brazil’s leading anti-dengue authority. Their study showed that figures were down 31 percent from the same period last year and down a considerable 85 percent from 2005.
The study also showed that the city’s Zona Sul (South Zone) had the lowest number of dengue-carrying mosquitoes while areas surrounding Oswaldo Cruz and Colégio had the highest infection index.
Dengue fever is carried and spread by the Aedes aegypti mosquito and is found in tropical and sub-tropical climates in urban and semi urban areas around the world.
According to the World Health Organization, the spread of dengue fever has been on the rise over the last several decades with an estimated 2.5 billion people currently at risk from the disease. Early detection of the virus and access to proper medical care have lowered fatality rates to less than one percent.
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