Brazil facing second largest dengue outbreak in its history

The Brazilian state of Amazonas has reported 15,548 cases of dengue as of last week, ranking it only behind the 19,000 cases registered during a 2001 epidemic.

While the first dengue outbreak in 1998 only had dengue type 1 and the second outbreak in 2001 had both types 1 and 2, the current outbreak has a higher risk than the others because it includes all four types of dengue, Inside Costa Rica reports.

This epidemic has seen nine deaths as of March 1, all from dengue types 1 and 2. Two of the dead were minors while the other seven came from the young and adult groups, according to Inside Costa Rica. Four other deaths are currently being investigated to determine if dengue was the cause.

The epidemic has spread to two other municipalities - Tefe and Manaus, the state capital. A total of 10,798 cases have been reported in Manaus. According to health authorities, the spread of dengue is rising, with over 230 cases reported each day, Inside Costa Rica reports.

Around 98 percent of dengue patients show classic symptoms such as headaches, high fever and aches throughout the body and joints. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, dengue is caused by a virus transmitted from mosquitoes to humans. There is currently no vaccine to prevent dengue infection.