Rio de Janeiro Last January, long lines formed outside health clinics in Recife, a city in Brazil’s northeast hit hard in recent years by outbreaks of dengue, a painful tropical disease.
Doctors were on guard because federal health officials and the World Health Organization (WHO) had warned 2015 would be a bad year for dengue and possibly another viral disease, chikungunya, both spread by the same type of mosquito.
But the symptoms of the hundreds of people seeking treatment did not fit dengue. Instead of high fevers and intense muscular aches that dengue is known to cause, patients were running only slight temperatures and complaining of joint pain. Many had rashes sooner than with dengue and chikungunya.
“We knew this was something else,” says Carlos Brito, a doctor from Recife who told state and federal health authorities in January-February last year that they were wrong to classify all the cases as dengue. “But the authorities were slow to believe,” he said.
Kleber Luz, a physician in Natal, a city 300 km up the Atlantic coast, says he gave similar feedback but got the same response. The two – who were part of a group of doctors discussing the odd symptoms in text messages – grew frustrated with
Article source: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-zika-response-insight-idUSKCN0V805N
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