Health September 2, 2023 | 11:33 am

Reappearance of serotype causes more dengue in the country

Dengue is making a strong comeback in different parts of the country due to the reappearance of a serotype that had not been circulating for years.LISTIN DIARIO

The presence of dengue serotype three is causing an increase in the number of disease cases in the country and a greater demand for medical care.

This serotype (DENV-3) has not circulated in the country for several years and, therefore, has found more susceptible people without contact with it.

This was revealed yesterday by the Vice-Minister of Collective Health, Dr. Eladio Perez, who recalled that in general in the country, the one that has circulated the most each year is serotype 2, which has always been present in recent years.

He explained that although the severity of this dengue serogroup is not more significant, there is a lot of vulnerable population that does not have the immunity it has against serogroup 2, which has always been the most present in the Dominican territory.

Dr. Perez was interviewed while participating in the opening ceremony of the third Annual Meeting of Epistemic Communities 2023 held in the country with the theme Emerging Technologies and Community Empowerment, organized by Two Oceans In Health (2OIH).

Santo Domingo and Santiago

He reported that the presence of dengue serotype three was identified in Greater Santo Domingo and Santiago, among other locations in the country, but that, nevertheless, the endemic corridor has exceeded the number of cases expected to date. Still, it has not yet entered an unmanageable stage.

He informed that currently, the highest number of dengue cases is in Santo Domingo Norte, where interventions are being carried out by the Ministry of Public Health together with the Mayor’s Office and the National Health Service, with the removal of garbage, fumigation, and awareness and education.

He said that there is a greater affluence of patients coming to the health facilities’ consultation services but that the parameters of hospitalization remain within the expected.

In the region

“We have in the country a serogroup of dengue in the country the three, which had been found previously, but had already several years that was not present, in that sense there is a lot of vulnerable population,” said the deputy minister of collective health.

He pointed out that dengue is on the rise throughout the region, and data from the World Health Organization indicate that the Dominican Republic is the country with the best indicators.

In 2023, noted the Vice Minister of Public Health, the region of the Americas has experienced a significant increase in dengue cases. So far, more than 3 million new infections have been recorded, surpassing the figures for 2019, the year with the highest recorded incidence of this disease in the region with 3.1 million cases, including 28,203 severe cases and 1,823 deaths.

Four serotypes

The four dengue serotypes are DENV-1, DENV-2, DENV-3, and DENV-4, which circulate in the different countries of the Americas, and there may be cases where all of them circulate simultaneously.

According to experts, infection with one serotype followed by another condition with a different serotype increases a person’s risk of severe dengue fever and even death.

Dengue is transmitted to people by the bite of the Aedes aegyptis mosquito that breeds in clean water, especially that which accumulates in or around homes. The recommendations for its control are to eliminate containers that become breeding places, cover water used for domestic use, and go to the doctor at the first symptoms of the disease, which begins with sudden fever, pain behind the eyes and head, and general malaise.

Scientific meeting

The meeting of Epistemic Communities held yesterday in the country brought together renowned researchers who discussed different topics related to artificial intelligence and the role of technology and science in the face of future pandemics.

The renowned researcher Dr. Jeffrey V Lazarus, PhD, MIH, MA. Director of the Health Systems Research Group at ISGlobal, University of Barcelona, Spain, was in charge of the Inaugural Conference of the event, with the theme “Delphi Method as a catalyst of epistemic communities: international approach for the response to COVID-19 and future pandemics”.

The activity was organized by Two Oceans In Health (2OIH), which is a health research center dedicated to building knowledge that empowers communities in the Dominican Republic through Health Research, Data Management, and Academic Initiatives, led by researchers Eddy Perez Then and Marija Miric.

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