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Published On: Wed, Jul 3rd, 2013

PAHO issues a dengue fever epidemic alert for Central America as rainy season begins

The Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) has issued a dengue fever epidemic alert for  the member states  of Central America and Dominican Republic Subregion, which include Mexico and the Caribbean, as these countries enter the rainy season.

mosquito

Photo/CDC-James Gathany

Outbreaks of the mosquito borne viral disease have been reported from throughout the Americas to include Brazil, Costa Rica, Colombia, Paraguay and the Dominican Republic. In Peru, cases were reported where there had previously not been locally acquired dengue cases.

PAHO says given the usual pattern of dengue in the Region, an increase in cases is expected in the coming months in Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean. This increase would coincide with the rainy season of those countries.

In Costa Rica, the government issued a health alert due to a dengue fever outbreak which has claimed three lives and infected about 12,000 people so far this year, according to an AFP report.

Health Minister Daisy Corrales said the infection rate was four times worse than that of 2012.

In addition, Corrales warned that authorities were concerned that three dengue strains were in circulation heading into the rainy season, a prime time for mosquitoes that transmit the disease.

The mosquito-born virus has had the worst effect in Costa Rica’s central Pacific coastal, north central, Chorotega and Huetar Atlántica regions, according to the Health Ministry.

Two cantons in the central Pacific had the highest number of cases in the past five weeks, according to the Health Ministry. Parrita reported 525 cases, while Pérez Zeledón reported 324 cases.

What is dengue fever?

In Nicaragua, the Sandinista government today declared an epidemiologic alert for dengue, swine flu and leptospirosis following a reported spike in the three rainy season illnesses, according to a Nicaragua Dispatch report.

Although authorities didn’t release any numbers, most of the known cases of dengue are in the departments of Chinandega, León, Managua, Masaya and Chontales, according to first lady Rosario Murillo.

PAHO reports that since the beginning of 2013, there have been 868,653 cases of dengue, 8,406 cases of severe dengue and 346 deaths (case fatality rate of 0.04%) in the Region of the Americas. All four serotypes of the virus are circulating, increasing the risk of severe dengue, the health organization reports.

See related: Dengue Fever Incidence Has Increased 30-Fold During The Past Half Century:WHO

New research estimates 390 million people infected with dengue fever annually

 

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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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  1. Costa Rica issues health alert over dengue – FRANCE 24 : Poker in Costa Rica says:

    […] Protecting YourselfThe Costa Rican TimesDengue epidemic alert issued for Central AmericaTico TimesThe Global Dispatchall 6 news […]

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