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Lancet Examines Dengue Fever In Mexico

Lancet World Report examines the factors contributing to a steady uptick in the number of dengue fever cases in Mexico over the past decade. Compared to the year 2000, when “there were 1,781 reported cases … Last year, the number totalled 33,000, according to Mexico’s Public Health Department. And confirmed cases this year have already surpassed 2008 figures by 15%,” according to the journal.

Mexico’s “vast tropical regions” and densely populated urban areas make the country an “ideal spot for dengue fever.” Some health experts also say “the rise in global commerce and tourism is one of the main factors, along with climate change, as a root cause of the disease’s expansion.” Experts also point to the recent movement of the mosquito Aedes aegypti, the carrier of the disease, into more Mexican states (21 of 31 states) and to higher altitudes.

The article includes information on how large-scale mosquito eradication and education programs underway in Mexico are trying to reduce the incidence of the disease (Cuddehe, 8/22).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.