Paraguay Dengue Epidemic
April 11, 2011, 9:28 a.m.
Edgar Gimenez, Paraguay's deputy health minister, "announced Wednesday that all elective surgeries are being suspended to free up beds, and that the public health system wants to hire 2,000 new doctors and nurses to help respond to" an epidemic of dengue fever, which has resulted in 18 deaths this year, the Associated Press reports. "There is no vaccine for so-called bonebreak fever, which causes strong pain, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. With many patients getting treatment privately, more than 20,000 are thought to be infected overall, said Health Ministry official Ivan Allende," the AP writes, noting that there were 15 deaths in the country in 2010. In 2009 and 2008, there were no reported dengue deaths (Servin, 3/30).