Dengue fever threatens fans at the 2014 World Cup

By Allison Rubenstein,

Fans heading to Brazil for the 2014 World Cup could be putting themselves at risk for dengue infection, a mosquito-borne virus that can be fatal.

In the last 30 years, the World Cup host country reported the highest number of dengue cases in South America, as found in a study conducted by the National Center for Biotechnology Information.

Brazil’s Ministry of Health is currently pushing an extensive public health campaign, encouraging citizens to clean up in and out of their homes in order to limit mosquito breeding, which in turn will limit dengue fever risk.

In an additional effort to fight dengue fever, scientists have genetically modified male mosquitoes and given them a gene that causes rapid death, according to EmaxHealth. These mosquitoes have been released in Brazil to mate with female mosquitoes, with the intention of killing off the mosquito population, and thereby reducing dengue virus.

To prevent infection, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises individuals to use a bug repellent containing picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, IR3535, or at least twenty percent DEET.



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