In case you haven’t noticed, summer has arrived in Argentina (yay). This might not be so great for the north of the country, however, where the dengue virus has spread (not yay).
In the words of the World Health Organization (WHO), dengue is a febrile (i.e. fever-causing) illness that is transmitted by the bite of a mosquito infected with the disease. It’s present in the world’s tropical and sub-tropical regions. So if you’re in Buenos Aires, you’re fine.
But if you go North, you might want to exercise precaution.
Misiones Province confirmed seven cases this month, enough for the province’s public health minister, Walter Villalba, to call it a localized “outbreak.” According to Villalba, most people who got the virus had traveled to Brasil or Paraguay, which have been affected by floods (these help spread the disease because they facilitate the reproduction of the mosquitoes that carry it).
Santa Fe confirmed two more cases within its province but didn’t raise the alarm because both cases were imported, meaning people caught the disease while abroad. Fun fact (or not so fun for him): one of the people who contracted the disease happens to be professional football player Pablo Cuevas, who plays for Colón de Santa Fe and was infected while visiting his family in Formosa.
To be clear, dengue is circumscribed to the northern part of the country, but here are a few recommendations provided by the Mayo Clinic to not get infected if you plan on traveling up North anytime soon:
- Avoid getting bit by mosquitoes (that’s actually my personal suggestion)
- Stay in air-conditioned or well-screened accommodations
- Avoid being outdoors at dawn, dusk and early evening, when more mosquitoes are out
- Wear long-sleeved shirt, long pants, socks and shoes when outdoors (this one may involve the risk of dangerously overheating, but one problem at a time)
- Use mosquito repellent (also known as “other humans repellent.” They smell awful)
- Get rid of the things that can turn into breeding ground for mosquitoes, such as used car tires, apparently
Chances are you have nothing to worry about. But as always, better safe than sorry. So make sure you take the necessary precautions so I won’t have to tell you I told you so.