Dengue fever cases increase 36 percent in Costa Rica
The Costa Rican Health Ministry reported this week the latest dengue fever numbers in the Central American country.
According to an official report released Monday, a total of 8,480 people have been affected by dengue fever in Costa Rica, marking a year-on-year increase of 36 percent.
This percentage represents an increase of 2,230 cases more than the same period in 2011.
Of the more than 8,000 cases reported this year, only nine had the more serious dengue hemorrhagic fever.
Dengue fever is caused by one of four different but related viruses. It is spread by the bite of mosquitoes, most commonly the mosquito Aedes aegypti, which is found in tropic and subtropic regions.
Also known as O’nyong-nyong fever and Breakbone fever, dengue fever should not be confused with Dengue hemorrhagic fever, which is a separate disease that is caused by the same type of virus but has much more severe symptoms, according to the National Library of Medicine.
Dengue fever begins with a sudden high fever, often as high as 104 – 105 degrees Fahrenheit, 4 to 7 days after the infection.
A flat, red rash may appear over most of the body 2 – 5 days after the fever starts. A second rash, which looks like the measles, appears later in the disease. Infected people may have increased skin sensitivity and are very uncomfortable.
There is no specific treatment for dengue fever. You will need fluids if there are signs of dehydration. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) is used to treat a high fever. Avoid taking aspirin.