The health ministry of Burkina Faso has declared an epidemic of dengue fever during the worst outbreak in recent times, which has resulted in over 200 deaths and a dramatic increase in new cases.
The ministry stated in a statement on Wednesday that there have been 50,478 suspected instances of the mosquito-borne disease this year, with 214 deaths. The majority of the deaths have occurred in the metropolitan areas of Bobo Dioulasso and Ouagadougou, the capital. It stated that only last week’s illnesses and fatalities accounted for almost 20% of the total.
An estimated 20,000 individuals die from dengue fever each year in the world. Since 2000, the disease’s rates have grown eight-fold, mostly due to urbanisation, increasing migration, and climate change.
This month, the World Health Organisation issued a warning, stating that if higher temperatures facilitate the spread of the virus-carrying mosquitoes, the disease will pose a serious concern in previously unaffected areas of Africa.
Infected Aedes aegypti mosquitoes transmit dengue. Fever, rashes, nausea, and muscular soreness are among the symptoms. Death rates are higher in underdeveloped nations with inadequate healthcare, like Burkina Faso, where misdiagnosis or lack of treatment are widespread.
The current epidemic in Burkina Faso is far larger than previous outbreaks in Africa. The Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention reported that dengue killed 15 persons in 2016 and 18 people in Burkina Faso in 2017.
In an effort to stop the spread, the health ministry announced that it was offering free quick diagnostic testing and that it had scheduled pesticide spraying in public areas.