esence of the weather phenomenon El Ni?o suggest that "2007 will be a difficult and complex year for responding to dengue," said San Martín. "The situation in the region really goes beyond the health sector and requires the active participation of other sectors and actors as well."
Ongoing cooperation between Paraguay and its neighbors includes the establishment of border commissions and the dissemination of outbreak information through established regional and subregional networks.
San Martín noted that community efforts are key to preventing or reducing outbreaks of dengue. Dengue is carried by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which flourishes in areas with poor sanitation and under conditions of high precipitation. "Citizens can play a fundamental role by keeping their homes free of breeding places for the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which carries the disease," said San Martín.
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that more than 2.5 billion people worldwide are at risk of dengue. Although the disease is a greater threat in Asia and some countries of the Pacific region, it is becoming a growing priority in the Americas.
There is currently no vaccine or cure for dengue, which causes high fever, muscular pain, headaches, vomiting, and in some cases skin rash.
Prevention efforts focus on raising public awareness of how the disease is transmitted and getting people to take personal preventive measures, including the use of mosquito repellant, and to eliminate breeding sites such as water storage barrels, potted plants, pet bowls, or any uncovered water container.
The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) was established in 1902 and is the world's oldest public health organization. It serves as the regional office of the World Health Organization, and works with all the countries of the Americas to improve the health and quality of life of their peoples.
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