DISEASES

Mosquitoes Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus can transmit up to 23 different arboviruses. To date, nine of them have been identified in Brazil. In addition to diseases such as Dengue, Chikungunya, Zika, the mosquitoes also transmit yellow fever, Mayaro, Rocio, Saint Louis, Oropouche and equine encephalitis.

Currently, the only disease with a vaccine available is yellow fever. Therefore, the best way to avoid transmission of these diseases is through vector control. Since Aedes is distributed in about 98% of the Brazilian municipalities, the risk of dissemination of those arboviruses is imminent in the medium and long term due to the continuous human mobility and the increase of global commerce.

Dengue

Dengue was first identified in Brazil in 1986. It is the most widespread and known disease transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes and had a historical record-breaking in Brazil in 2015 with about 1.5 million case reports and 843 deaths. It is estimated that 50 million dengue infections occur annually around the world through the bite of Aedes mosquitoes.

Dengue was first identified in Brazil in 1986. It is the most widespread and known disease transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes and had a historical record-breaking in Brazil in 2015 with about 1.5 million case reports and 843 deaths. It is estimated that 50 million dengue infections occur annually around the world through the bite of Aedes mosquitoes.

Occurrences of outbreaks and epidemics of Dengue have been one of the main challenges in the management of public health in Brazil and in several other countries, especially in Latin America. As there are still no vaccines against those diseases, it is necessary to fight the mosquito, eliminating stagnant water, and protecting yourself using repellents and mosquito nets during the day.

chikungunya

The first Chikungunya epidemic, a viral disease also transmitted by the Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes, was documented in Tanzania in 1952. In Brazil, the disease arrived in 2014 and is now one of the points of attention of government health agencies.

Although it is not lethal, Chikungunya has a high cost of treatment due to joint pains and swellings that can last for months or even years. Headaches, muscle aches and red spots on the skin are other possible symptoms. In case of suspected infection, it is important to seek medical attention and not medicate without the guidance of a qualified professional. The patient who has had Chikungunya becomes immune to the disease.

Unfortunately, there is still no vaccine available for Chikungunya and, therefore, prevention is very important. It can be done by eliminating possible mosquito breeding sites and water accumulation, and by using repellents.

ZIKA

The Zika virus represents today the greatest threat among viral diseases transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes. Currently considered a pandemic, with Brazil as the center of world attention, the Zika virus should be the cause of over 5,000 microcephaly cases in newborns in the country, in addition to provoking other neurodegenerative diseases such as Guillain-Barré syndrome.

Initially, the Zika virus is a disease with mild and rapid clinical manifestations. About 80% of infected people do not even have clinical manifestations. Among the symptoms, the most common are headache, low fever, mild joint pains, red spots on the skin, itching, and redness in the eyes. Serious forms of the disease are quite rare but can lead to death. Therefore, in case of suspected Zika, it is recommended that the patient seeks medical attention and not medicate without the advice of a qualified professional.

There is no vaccine for the Zika virus. It is necessary to fight the mosquito, and to eliminate possible breeding sites of stagnant water. The use of screens in windows, mosquito nets, and repellents is also much indicated. The virus is especially dangerous for developing fetuses, and may cause congenital malformation such as Microcephaly. Therefore, pregnant women should redouble their care, avoiding a possible infection. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends the use of a condom, as it has also been proven that the Zika virus can also be transmitted through sexual intercourse.

SOURCE: MINISTRY OF HEALTH, HEALTH SURVEILLANCE DEPARTMENT – SVS/MS.