Health authorities in the department of Santa Cruz declared on Thursday a red alert for a dengue epidemic that is currently affecting 17 municipalities.
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In a press conference, the director of the Departmental Health Service (Sedes), Julio César Koca, announced the resolution of a technical council and regional scientific committee "to declare a red alert for the dengue epidemic in the department of Santa Cruz."
According to the official, the measure provides for the activation of the "Departmental Emergency Operations Committee [COED] and the allocation of greater economic resources for health due to the increase in cases."
17 municipalities are currently affected in Bolivia's largest department. There are 387 confirmed cases of dengue, 112 hospitalized in health centers and 7 deaths in the last six weeks (3 in 2022 and 4 so far in 2023).
The health authorities of Santa Cruz, the largest region of Bolivia, declared a "red alert" on Thursday 19-E to deal with a dengue epidemic that occurs in the department, where four people have died from the disease so far this year.
Under the red alert, epidemiological surveillance will be intensified and health and laboratory services will be reinforced, said the manager of Epidemiology of Sedes Santa Cruz, Carlos Hurtado.
The official added that fumigation and destruction of breeding sites of the mosquito that transmits dengue will be carried out. Hurtado also referred to the importance of timely laboratory diagnosis and adequate treatment in health services.
The Epidemiology manager considered that "if the behavior of the disease continues like this (...) we will surely reach an emergency situation in the next few days due to dengue."