Brazil: Chikungunya shows increase in cases compared to 2019

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Of the three main diseases transmitted by Aedes aegyptiOnly chikungunya has shown an increase in cases this year in Brazil compared to 2019, the year the last survey was conducted before the pandemic.

photo/CDC

In the year to December 17, there were 172,082 probable cases of chikungunya (incidence rate 80.7 cases per 100,000 population) in Brazil. Compared to 2019, there was an increase of 31.9% in cases registered for the same period analyzed.

To date, 93 chikungunya deaths have been confirmed in Brazil, with Ceará focusing on more than 40% of them.

For 2022, the Northeast region presented the highest rate (257.1 cases/100,000 population), followed by the Midwest (36.1 cases/100,000 population) and the Northern regions (26.4 cases/100,000 population).

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The municipality with the highest number of records of possible cases of chikungunya is Fortaleza, the capital of Ceará, with 760 cases per 100,000 residents. This number is nearly ten times the national average. Between January of this year and December 17, a one-third increase in cases of the disease was recorded compared to 2019. The year is used as a reference due to social isolation during the pandemic, which contributed to a widespread decrease in the number of cases.

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According to Fortaleza’s health department, 400,000 drugs must be screened to combat mosquito infestations by February next year, ahead of the region’s heaviest rainy season. According to the Ministry of Health, chikungunya causes fever in the first two weeks, however, in more than half of the cases, it also causes chronic joint pain, which can last for years.

On the other hand, viruses transmitted by other arthropods transmitted by Aedes aegypti decreased in 2022, compared to the pre-pandemic period. So far, dengue and Zika cases are down about 8% compared to 2019. But the states of Goiás and Rio Grande do Norte still have the highest number of potential cases of dengue and Zika, respectively.

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