Dengue fever cases in Argentina up 2,153% so far in 2024

Argentina has registered an incredible 57,461 cases of dengue fever so far in 2024 – an increase of 2,153 percent over the same period last year.

In 2023, just 2,550 were detected – more than 55,000 less than this year’s tally, data from the National Health Ministry shows.

“We have the season with the highest incidence of cases in history,” said Nicolás Kreplak, the health minister of Buenos Aires Province, one of the regions most affected by the disease transmitted by the Aedes Aegypti mosquito.

Although Argentina experienced an invasion of mosquitoes last month, images of which went viral on social media, these were of a different type: Aedes Albifasciatus, which does not transmit the dengue virus.

Of the 57,461 cases of dengue fever confirmed in 2024 to date, 47 people have died, including a baby and two teenagers, according to an epidemiological report from the National Health Ministry.

The most affected areas are concentrated in the northeast of Argentina, mainly in the provinces of Chaco, Formosa and Misiones. Buenos Aires Province has also been hit hard, registering the deaths of 11 individuals.

Viviana Vargas, 59, who lives in the city of Florencio Varela in Buenos Aires Province, has suffered from the disease first-hand: “My mother was hospitalised.

“We had to raise money among my five siblings to save her, we thought she was dying, sh was left skin and bones, just lying there,” she told AFP.

Dengue is preventable for those who can afford an expensive vaccine – the only problem is that more than half the population lives in poverty and inflation is running at more than 250 percent per annum. 

Two doses of the vaccine TAK-003, also known as Qdengam, from the Japanese laboratory Takeda, are required to be protected. Each dose costs 71,293 pesos (around US$82 at the official exchange rate), while the minimum wage is set at 202,800 pesos (US$233).

President Javier Milei’s government confirmed on Monday that it will not include the dengue vaccine in the national vaccination schedule, which would make it universally available, free and compulsory.

The World Health Organisation “indicated that there is insufficient evidence of its effectiveness” to date, explained Presidential Spokesperson Manuel Adorni at a press conference.

A fortnight ago, tens of thousands of people around the world shared viral videos of swarms of mosquitoes in Argentina.

It was an invasion of Aedes Albifasciatus, a species that grows especially after the rains and in open, grassy areas, unlike Aegypti, which grows mainly in cities and spreads Zika and chikungunya in addition to dengue.




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