At least 16 people have died in January 2020 from an ongoing dengue fever outbreak as of Thursday, January 30. Bolivian health officials have confirmed 2143 cases in 2020, with over 57 percent being recorded in Santa Cruz department. Beni, La Paz, Pando, Tarija, and Cochabamba departments have also reported dengue cases. Earlier in the month, officials declared a health emergency in Santa Cruz department and initiated a department-wide campaign to eliminated mosquito breeding sites.
Further spread of the outbreak is likely over the coming weeks.
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.).