U.N. health agency warns about spread of dengue in urban areas

World health officials say they have some 17 neglected tropical diseases on the run, but that does not include dengue.

Dengue fever is increasing because of urbanization, the rapid movement of people in groups and climate change, said the World Health Organization. Last year, it notes, dengue ranked as the fastest spreading vector-borne viral disease, with an epidemic potential in the world.

The World Health Organization, says the world needs to move away from reacting after the fact. It must implement sustainable preventive measures to blunt the threats posed by this disease, it said.

Dengue is common in Costa Rica, mainly on both coasts. The disease is carried by a mosquito, and the country’s control efforts mainly are focused on eliminating places where mosquitoes breed and spraying. The mosquito larva grow in standing water. Several organizations are involved in campaigns to collect old tires, which make a perfect breeding ground for dengue mosquitoes.

The World Health Organization said it is targeting the global eradication of guinea worm disease in 2015 and yaws in 2020. The report outlines six targets set for the elimination of five diseases in 2015 and another 10 targets for nine diseases for 2020, either globally or in selected geographical areas.

The U.N. agency estimates that up to 200 million people are infected with schistosomiasis, a major parasitic disease, in parts of South America, Asia and Africa. It kills about 280,000 people every year in sub-Saharan Africa.

In the next five years, the agency projects treatment for schistosomiasis will reach 235 million people.

The United Nations health agency says increasing the availability of donated medicines and improving distribution at the country level will make this possible.

This entry was posted in World News. Bookmark the permalink.