Peru hit by dengue fever outbreak

Peruvian health officials have declared a red alert for Peru’s northern Amazon Jungle region in the wake of a dengue outbreak that has killed 14 people and made thousands sick.

Authorities have labeled the strain of the disease behind the outbreak “very aggressive,” AFP reports.

Health Minister Oscar Ugarte said that authorities must be facing a new strain that has come out Brazil through the Amazon. This is as opposed to what is normally faced, which is known the American strain of the disease, according to AFP.

At least 13,000 people are thought to have been infected with this new strain of dengue and at least 1,600 have been hospitalized, a health official in Lareto told AFP. There are 14 known deaths attributable to the outbreak.

Hugo Rodriguez, a senior health official in Lareto, told AFP that this strain is known as the Asian-American variety. Unlike the American variety, it produces shock in its victims.

"It is a combination of both varieties," Rodriguez said, according to AFP.

In Iquitos, Peru’s main city located on the Amazon River and 1,000 miles north of Lima, health officials have begun the process of spraying insecticides to limit the mosquito population. Dengue is mosquito-borne and there is no vaccine for it.