Health advisory declared in Guatemala after dengue outbreak

Guatemala issued a national health advisory on Sunday evening after a dengue hemorrhagic fever outbreak led to four deaths and 256 overall confirmed cases.

Otto Pérez Molina, the president of Guatemala, issued the advisory to spread the word about the mosquito-borne illness. The announcement was made after the president met with his cabinet on Sunday, Tico Times reports.

"We have reports of 1,186 possible cases of dengue nationwide, of which 256 are confirmed, 26 are hemorrhagic dengue, and four have caused death," Pérez Molina said, according to Tico Times.

The most recent fatality was reported on Sunday in the Retalhuleu department, which is located south of the capital. The patient died after refusing a blood transfusion because of religious beliefs.

"Special brigades will work to remove stagnant water and every item in homes that facilitates the hatching of the Aedes aegypti mosquito," Pérez Molina said, according to Tico Times.

According to the Centers for the Disease Control and Prevention, more than one-third of the world's population lives in areas at risk for transmitting dengue infection. As many as 100 million people are infected with any one of four related dengue viruses annually. There are no vaccines to prevent infection with dengue.