Puerto Rico Declares Public Health Emergency as Dengue Fever Spreads


Puerto Rico declared a public health emergency due to the rapid spread of Dengue Fever. In 2024 the virus has already infected about half as many people as it did all of last year. The impact of dengue has been felt far beyond Puerto Rico. Countries across the Americas have experienced a record breaking number of cases. Last year set a new record with 4.5 million cases and 2024 is set to easily pass this mark, as 3 million cases have been reported as of March 25. More than 80% of infections have occurred in Brazil. Just as concerning is the virus’s migration to new territories, including the United States. Historically dengue has not affected countries outside tropical regions. As climates have become warmer and wetter, dengue has gained a foothold in the US. The virus is passed to humans through mosquitoe bites. Climate change has created fertile breeding grounds for mosquitoes in Florida, Texas, Hawaii, leading to an uptick in cases in these and other states.

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