El Nino rains behind Peru’s worst dengue outbreak ever, over 130,000 cases recorded

Peru is experiencing its worst dengue outbreak ever, with over 130,000 cases and a death toll exceeding 200 due to El Niño's heavy rainfall creating breeding grounds for mosquitoes.

Livemint, Edited By Fareha Naaz
First Published12 Jun 2023
Peru battles worst dengue outbreak ever, over 130,000 cases recorded
Peru battles worst dengue outbreak ever, over 130,000 cases recorded

Peru is currently grappling with its most severe dengue outbreak on record, which is expected to worsen due to the presence of the El Niño climate phenomenon bringing heavy rainfall. The country's health ministry reported a death toll exceeding 200 and over 130,000 recorded cases. Health authorities in Peru have attributed the surge in cases to the El Niño climate phenomenon.

El Niño, characterized by cyclical warming of the oceans and changes in weather patterns, has resulted in tropical cyclones and increased rainfall in the Pacific region. The excessive rainfall has created breeding grounds for mosquitoes, leading to the widespread prevalence of dengue.

In response to the spike in cases, Peru's health officials have implemented measures such as prohibiting residents from storing stagnant water in open containers. Rosa Gutiérrez, Peru's health minister said, “Dengue kills.”, emphasized the urgency of eliminating mosquito breeding sites, highlighting the lethal consequences of dengue.

The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has officially declared the onset of El Niño following a period dominated by the cooler La Niña pattern over the past three years. This year's El Niño is particularly concerning, as it bears resemblance to the strong El Niño event experienced in 2016, when the world witnessed a historic hottest year.

The NOAA predicts that the intensity of El Niño conditions will gradually increase throughout the year and into 2024. Climate analysts closely monitor the temperatures of the Pacific Ocean and designate a period as El Niño when temperatures near the equator exceed historical averages by at least 0.9 degrees Fahrenheit for three consecutive months.

Peru has declared a two-month "state of emergency" in 18 out of its 24 regions, acknowledging the imminent danger posed by heavy rainfall this year and the next. Michelle L'Heureux, a meteorologist with NOAA's Climate Prediction Center, described the situation as unprecedented, reflecting the gravity of the situation.

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HomeNewsworldEl Nino rains behind Peru’s worst dengue outbreak ever, over 130,000 cases recorded

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