An Aedes aegypti mosquito (Reuters)

Iran identifies 63 new dengue fever cases, declaring it top health crisis

Tuesday, 07/09/2024

Iran’s Deputy Minister of Health announced 63 new cases of dengue fever, stressing that it is currently the country's most critical health issue.

On Tuesday, Saeed Karimi said that most patients are travelers from the Persian Gulf countries with seven provinces affected.

Last week, Iran’s Ministry of Health reported 138 cases of dengue fever identified over the past two months and warned of a potential outbreak in September and October. In June, the ministry also announced three deaths.

Iran is already facing a critical shortage of doctors and nurses in the healthcare system now battered by the country's economic crisis.

The first reported case of dengue fever in Iran occurred in 2008 in a patient who had traveled to Malaysia.

The World Health Organization (WHO) says dengue, or break-bone fever, is a virus spread by mosquitoes, common in tropical and subtropical areas. Most people don't show symptoms, but those who do may experience high fever, headache, body aches, nausea, and rash, usually recovering in 1-2 weeks. Severe cases can be fatal and need hospital care.

According to WHO, the incidence of dengue has dramatically increased globally, with cases rising from 505,430 in 2000 to 5.2 million in 2019. Many cases are under-reported or misdiagnosed as other febrile illnesses.

The highest number of cases was recorded in 2023, with over 6.5 million cases and 7300 deaths affecting over 80 countries.

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