Brazil's Health Minister Ricardo Barros has said fighting Aedes aegypti mosquitoes is currently the biggest health challenge for the country.
At a press conference on Monday (Dec. 26) in which he took stock of the 200 days of his leadership of the ministry, Barros reaffirmed the government's anticipation of a spread of Chikungunya, one of the viruses transmitted by the mosquitoes, in 2017.
“We need to get rid of these mosquitoes. That's our big health challenge until they have been adequately controlled,” he said.
This year, 263,000 cases of Chikungunya fever were recorded, compared to 36,000 in 2015. “The mosquito bites, catches the virus, and infects other people with it. Since the number of people infected has increased a lot, we believe it [the number of cases] is going to increase.”
As for dengue and Zika, other viruses also carried by Aedes aegypti, Barros said the Health Ministry expects the number of cases to stabilise. In 2016, 1.4 million dengue infections were reported, compared to 1.6 million in 2015, not to mention 211,000 potential cases of Zika infection in 2016 (not all of the reported cases have been verified by a laboratory.)
“Each and every citizen is responsible for fighting the mosquitoes. No state task force would be able to go everywhere eliminate breeding spots,” the minister said.
Translated by Mayra Borges
Fonte: Brazil's biggest health challenge is to get rid of Aedes aegypti, minister says