Jalisco Health Secretary Alfonso Petersen Farah says reports that two people have died as a result of contracting dengue during October are still under investigation.
The Centro Nacional de Vigilancia Epidemiológica is carrying out tests to confirm whether dengue caused their deaths, he said.
Petersen revealed this week that “the number of confirmed dengue cases recorded this year has reached 1,276 – 105.6 percent higher than in 2017.”
Health authorities admit that the real figure is much higher than the official one. Petersen estimated that only one in five dengue cases will eventually be confirmed by analysis.
Petersen said only 34 of the confirmed cases were dengue haemorrhagic fever, the more severe form of the illness that can cause organ damage, severe bleeding, dehydration and even death.
Despite the recent spike in the virus, the situation in Jalisco is “not critical,” he said.
Nonetheless, in preparation for the Day of the Dead celebrations, the Jalisco Health Department earlier this week dispatched 190 fumigators to 311 cemeteries located throughout the state. Traditionally, thousands of people visit the gravesite of deceased relatives on November 1 and 2.
Dengue is carried primarily by female Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. About half of those infected are asymptomatic, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The other half aren’t so lucky. Four to ten days after being bitten, they may experience fever up to 104 degrees along with severe headaches, joint and muscle pains and pain behind the eyes. It can feel as though your bones are breaking, hence dengue’s alternative name, “breakbone fever.” Most people recover after two to seven days.
The Jalisco Health Department also reported 131 cases of Zika and one of Chikungunya so far in 2018.