On Wednesday, January 8, the Santa Cruz government declared a departmental emergency due to the ongoing dengue fever outbreak. There were 5,828 cases of dengue reported across Bolivia between January and December 2019, and 728 confirmed cases in Santa Cruz department alone. Government officials have initiated a department-wide campaign to eliminated mosquito breeding sites, which is expected to continue over the coming weeks. Beni, La Paz, Pando, and Cochabamba departments have also been impacted by the dengue outbreak over the past year.
Symptoms of dengue fever include fever, headache, muscle and joint pain, fatigue, nausea, and rashes. Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever (DHF) is a potentially deadly complication that is characterized by high fever, the enlargement of the liver, and hemorrhaging.
Individuals in Bolivia are advised to take measures to protect themselves from mosquito bites (e.g. by wearing covering clothing, using insect repellent, and sleeping in a screened-in or air-conditioned room) and to eliminate possible mosquito breeding grounds on their properties (e.g. small pockets of fresh water, such as rainwater that has collected in cans, bottles, tires, flower pots, clogged gutters, etc.).