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The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) has issued an alert regarding the increase in dengue cases in Central America and the Caribbean regions. They are urging countries to review their response plans and enhance surveillance as the Southern Hemisphere’s summer season approaches. This year, the Americas have reported approximately 3.4 million dengue cases, surpassing the previous record of 3.1 million cases in 2019. Brazil has been the most severely affected country, followed by Peru and Bolivia. Additionally, Brazil has reported the highest number of severe cases, with Colombia, Peru, Bolivia, and Mexico following suit. As of now, the Americas have reported 1,612 dengue-related deaths, resulting in a case-fatality rate of 0.05%.

In Central and North America, Nicaragua has experienced the highest number of cases this year, with an 83% increase compared to the same period in 2022 and a 1.87-fold increase compared to the five-year average. Mexico has also witnessed a significant surge in cases this year, tripling the number reported in 2022 and doubling the five-year average. Costa Rica and Guatemala have also observed case numbers above those of 2022 and the five-year average.

In the Caribbean, the Dominican Republic, Martinique, and Guadeloupe have been identified as the main hot spots for dengue. In the United States, Puerto Rico has reported 374 locally acquired cases, with additional cases reported in Florida and Texas.

PAHO has highlighted that the seasonal increase in dengue activity, coupled with the beginning of the rainy season in the second half of 2023, has placed a burden on healthcare systems in Central America and the Caribbean. This emphasizes the importance of countries preparing their health systems to handle the expected rise in dengue cases as they enter their summer season.

In Florida, there have been four new local dengue cases reported in the latest weekly surveillance update. This brings the total number of cases in the year to 23. The majority of cases have been reported in Miami-Dade County, with a few cases in Broward, Hardee, and Polk counties. Two of the cases involved individuals who are not residents of Florida.

Out of the 22 samples that were analyzed, 17 infections were from dengue serotype 3, four were from serotype 2, one was from serotype 1, and one had an unknown serotype.

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