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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Health Dept. reports first death attributed to dengue

Chief Epidemiology Officer Dr. Melissa Marzán Rodríguez, center

By The Star Staff

Dr. Melissa Marzán Rodríguez, the island’s chief epidemiology officer, announced on Monday the first death attributed to the dengue virus in Puerto Rico this year.

“The most recent published surveillance bulletin has added 69 cases, for a cumulative total since the beginning of the year of 1,033 cases. And also in this bulletin, we have published the first death associated with dengue for 2024, which would be an 85-year-old person from the San Juan region,” Marzán said at a press conference.

Marzán noted that most of the cases are concentrated in the metropolitan area of San Juan.

“Since the beginning of the year, 24 percent of the cases have belonged to the municipality of San Juan. So that concentration of cases between San Juan, Bayamón and Carolina continues to lead, with almost 60 percent of the cases observed under surveillance,” she said. “We also observed a second important concentration in the western region, especially in the municipality of Rincón.”

Regarding the most affected age groups, Marzán noted that the pediatric group from 0 to 19 years old represents the majority of cases, especially the group from 10 to 19 years old, which constitutes a little more than 30 percent of the cases.

“In terms of severity, we continue to see a similar rate to previous years, with 5.7 percent or 6 percent of cases being severe,” she added.

Marzán called on citizens to cooperate in preventing the spread of dengue.

“We want to ask the community, the population, [to remember] that dengue is a situation that requires continuous and coordinated work,” she stressed. “This is not the time to let your guard down. We need everyone to be taking active measures against the mosquito.”

To prevent the spread of dengue during the rainy season, it is essential to eliminate mosquito breeding sites. Containers that accumulate water, such as buckets, flower pots and tires, should be emptied and cleaned. In addition, it is necessary to cover water tanks and use repellents and mosquito nets. The community must collaborate in cleaning and keeping its surroundings free of stagnant water to reduce the reproduction of the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which transmits the virus.

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