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Oropouche fever: is there a risk of an outbreak in Brazil?

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Oropouche fever: is there a risk of an outbreak in Brazil?

This week, Amazonas issued an epidemiological alert for the febre oropouche, a virus similar to dengue, reporting a total of 1,398 confirmed cases of the disease since the first day of the year. On Thursday (29), Rio de Janeiro recorded the first case of the infection.

In addition to Amazonas, the states of Acre and Rondônia are in a state of outbreak, according to the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz). In February this year, PAHO (Pan American Health Organization) issued an epidemiological alert for the increase in fever for the American continent. According to the entity, most outbreaks occurred in all age groups and genders, but children and young people were the most affected.

Although the cases are concentrated in the northern region of Brazil, there is concern about an outbreak at a national level, especially in the face of an epidemic of dengue — on Thursday (29), Brazil reached the mark of 1 million probable cases of dengue. disease transmitted by Temples of the Egyptians.

HAS CNNRenato Kfouri, vice-president of the Brazilian Society of Immunizations (SBIm), explains that there are chances of the disease spreading throughout BrazilWhat a This won’t happen overnight. “Dengue starts like this and so does yellow fever. They start in specific regions and then spread across the country”, he explains.

“Like other arboviruses, the more people there are infected with oropouche fever, the greater the tendency for progression. The more people infected by the virus, the more the mosquito will transmit the disease”, says the expert. This happens because, just like the Temples of the Egyptiansthe mosquito that transmits oropouche fever needs to bite an infected person to infect another.

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However, Kfouri reinforces that This expansion should not happen overnight and therefore, there is no cause for alarm. “Cases should not explode quickly. What should happen is imported transmission: a person who travels to the North region, where there are more cases of oropouche, can be contaminated and, therefore, increase the chances of the disease being transmitted to other people in their region”, he says.

This is what happened in the case of Rio de Janeiro, for example, in which a man tested positive for oropouche fever after traveling to Amazonas, according to the State Department of Health (SES-RJ). The case remains under epidemiological investigation by the city’s health surveillance team.

What is oropouche fever?

Oropouche fever is a disease caused by an arbovirus, that is, a virus transmitted by a mosquito. According to the Ministry of Health, the Orthobunyavirus oropoucheense (OROV), which causes the infection, was isolated for the first time in 1960, from a blood sample from a sloth captured during the construction of the Belém-Brasília highway.

Os Sintomas da febre oropouche They are similar to dengue and chikungunya and, therefore, the diseases can be confused. This is the case of:

  • Headache;
  • Joint pain;
  • Muscle pain;
  • Nausea and vomiting;
  • Diarrhea.

To differentiate oropouche fever from other arboviruses, it is necessary to make a diagnosis, which is clinical, epidemiological and laboratory. In other words, symptoms are assessed, whether there has been contact with infected people or regions that have an outbreak, and laboratory tests are carried out to exclude the possibility of other diseases with similar symptoms.

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Furthermore, the Ministry of Health reinforces that oropouche fever is on the list of notifiable diseases, classified among immediately notifiable diseases. This is because fever has an epidemic potential and a high capacity for the virus to mutate, potentially becoming a threat to public health. Treatment must include rest, hydration and the use of medication to alleviate symptoms.

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