Dengue advances and fills health units throughout the Federal District

Dengue advances and fills health units throughout the Federal District
Dengue advances and fills health units throughout the Federal District

Updated survey, this Friday (2/2), by the Ministry of Health, highlights that the Federal District is the unit of the Federation with the highest incidence rate of probable dengue cases, with 1,147.8 cases per 100 thousand inhabitants. Well behind is Acre, with 458.8 cases. Meanwhile, UPAs in several administrative regions of the DF remain full and, according to reports from patients heard by Correio, many units are refusing service due to a lack of structure.

In 2024, until January 27, 29,492 probable cases of dengue were reported, a number 920% higher than the same period last year, when 2,890 probable cases were registered. Of the probable dengue cases, 55% of the infected population are women, and 44.7% are men. A field hospital will be built in Sol Nascente to care for patients (see page 14). The GDF is in an emergency situation to combat dengue.

Correio was at the Ceilândia II UPA and accompanied patients with dengue symptoms in search of care. Student Alex Pereira, 18 years old, tried to get treatment at the unit last Thursday and, after giving up waiting, went to a pharmacy where he took a rapid dengue test and found that he was infected with the disease. He returned to the UPA yesterday and was still unable to receive care. “On Thursday, I was here from 5pm to 11pm. It was overcrowded and I couldn’t be seen, because my case is with the greens (low risk)”, he reported.

For Alex, his own health does not worry him as much as that of his mother, Marileuza Pereira, 44, who also has dengue symptoms. According to the student, she suffered a cerebrovascular accident (CVA) and, since the symptoms of dengue began to appear, on January 25, she has not yet recovered, which is why she continues to return to the UPA. “She had come back here twice before today,” he stated. “I worry if my mother is hospitalized. She’s even short of breath,” he said.

While Marileuza undergoes new exams, Alex observes the UPA’s movement. “A colleague of mine has been here since yesterday, taking medication, but was unable to be transferred. The hospitals are full,” he added.

The long queues seem atypical even for those who work at UPA Ceilândia II, opened in September 2021. “It’s worse than during the covid-19 (pandemic)”, pointed out a receptionist at the unit, who did not want to be identified. She said that the place is overloaded because the other UPA, in Ceilândia Norte, is often overcrowded and only allows patients in serious condition to enter, leaving other cases untreated. “It’s common for UPA Norte to close, they only restrict it to red cases and that’s it. Here, if there’s space, we’ll help,” she claimed.

The complaints reflect the seriousness of the dengue epidemic in the Federal District. According to the Health Department (SES-DF), the capital recorded, this year, a 920% increase in cases of the disease, compared to the same period last year.


Holding a cotton ball on his forearm, where the intravenous drug access was, metalworker Noelton de Farias, 35, said he met a patient who is constantly going to the health unit. “There is a woman who has dengue fever and has been coming here for seven days because she is experiencing a lot of abdominal pain. The doctors advise that, even with the high demand, she should return if the symptoms do not subside”, he recalled.

Noelton had to leave work due to severe body pain, fatigue, nausea and a headache. After two hours of waiting, the test confirmed dengue fever. “They gave me five days of medical certificate, and a prescription for serum and dipyrone for the pain. Now, it’s time to take care of myself,” she said.

Jéssica Nayara Souza Alencar, 27, is an employee of Vida UTI-Móvel, a service contracted by the DF’s Institute for Strategic Health Management to transfer seriously ill patients to the intensive care unit. “I see the UPAs full when I arrive. I think the idea that only elderly people die from dengue has gone. There are a lot of young people being taken to the hospital”, she pointed out. “Hemorrhagic dengue fever is what triggers the most transportation (of patients) now,” she added.

According to the Department of Health, the number of calls made by the Mobile Emergency Care Service (Samu) after calls made by 192 increased by around 420% from December 2023 to January 2024, due to dengue.

The service guides the population on which health unit to seek care, according to the symptoms presented, and general care for common symptoms of the disease, without signs of severity. If necessary, Samu, which focuses its efforts on urgent and emergency pre-hospital care, also continues to activate resources for home intervention in more serious cases, followed by removal of patients to referenced hospitals in the SES-DF Network.

The Service also supports primary care, with the provision of tents installed in administrative regions to accommodate milder cases.


A five-month-old baby died last Thursday, victim of severe dengue fever at the Hospital Materno Infantil de Brasília (Hmib). The information was confirmed by Correio by hospital sources. But the Health Department of the Federal District (SES-DF) had not confirmed it until the closing of this edition. According to the latest epidemiological bulletin released by SES-DF, also on Thursday, there are 30 suspected deaths among residents of the federal capital. Of these, 24 are under investigation, and six have been confirmed.

Of the confirmed deaths, five were male and one female, with one victim being a child between 5 and 9 years old; two from people between 70 and 79 years old; and the rest were between 20 and 49 years old. The baby’s death in Hmib has not yet been reported.

The ministry reported that all suspected dengue deaths are reported to the department. “The SES technical area carries out the investigation, which lasts 60 days. Only after confirmation are they included in the bulletin”, he said in a note.

The Human Rights Commission of the Legislative Chamber of the Federal District (CLDF) received complaints about a lack of supplies such as hydration serum and overcrowding at the Samambaia UPA, with reports of patients who went home with dengue symptoms and without care. The president of the commission, district deputy Fábio Felix (PSol), visited the site yesterday with the aim of checking the conditions of care for patients with dengue fever.

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