CARACAS – Cases of dengue fever in Venezuela increased 85 percent while malaria cases jumped 138 percent in the first quarter of this year over the same period last year, the press said on Friday.
Up to April 3 some 22,154 cases of dengue were recorded, compared with 11,936 in the same period last year, as well as 12,717 cases of malaria, much higher than the 4,917 in the first quarter of 2009.
These were figures from the official weekly epidemiological bulletin, cited Friday by the Caracas daily Ultimas Noticias.
Malaria was most prevalent in the southern state of Bolivar, where there were 11,700 cases of the disease up to April 3.
In 2009, the incidence of malaria in Venezuela increased by 12.7 percent and dengue by 38 percent compared with the previous year, according to a preliminary report last December from the Health Ministry.
According to the preliminary official figures, in 2009 there were some 33,805 cases of malaria and 61,688 of dengue in Venezuela.
Malaria is a parasitic disease transmitted by the bites of infected mosquitoes and can cause anemia, meningitis and kidney failure, and occurs mainly in tropical and subtropical countries.
Dengue fever is a viral disease carried by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, and is also seen most often in tropical and subtropical countries.
It is characterized by sudden fever and headaches along with joint and muscle pain, and has a severe variety known as hemorrhagic dengue, which can be fatal. EFE