Malaria and Dengue Fever Break Out in Costa Rica

July 11, 2008

Health officials have recorded several malaria and dengue fever outbreaks over the past several weeks.

The Health Ministry is battling the viruses – dengue in San Carlos on the border with Nicaragua and malaria in Corredores on the Panama border – with house-to-house visits and fumigations of homes and lakes.

Fernández said authorities were surprised by how quickly the outbreak has spread.

The dengue outbreak has reached 247 potential cases, 63 of which have been verified by blood tests, said Health Ministry epidemiologist Jorge Araya. The Social Security System (the Caja) has announced the creation of a four-member emergency team to try to stop the spread of this virus.

“We have this outbreak traced to one person from Limón,” Araya said. “We’re trying to stop the spread, but it surprises me how we haven’t got it stabilized yet.

Normally, dengue outbreaks stabilize within a week or so.”

On the Panama border, the malaria problem is also vexing authorities. The Health Ministry said 216 cases of malaria have been reported so far this year, 102 of them on the Caribbean side of the country.

“We had 23 malaria cases in June alone (in Corredores),” said epidemiologist Rodrigo Fernández, a doctor with the Health Ministry. “It grew rapidly from a few cases on the Panamanian side of the border the month before. We’re trying to put the brakes on it.”

Both dengue and malaria are carried by mosquitoes and become more problematic after heavy rains because the insects have more breeding grounds.

The symptoms of malaria are fever, chills, heavy sweating and headaches.

Treatment includes the drugs chloro quine and primaquine.

The symptoms of dengue fever include high fever, vomiting, chronic weakness, rashes, and muscle, joint and head pain.

There is no treatment for dengue aside from rest and drinking lots of fluids.

Authorities are asking people to take measures to stanch the spread of the diseases: use mosquito repellant; keep your areas clean; cover containers; and empty containers that have filled with water.

–Nick Wilkinson

 

Facebook Comments

You may be interested

Alajuelense eliminated in the Costa Rican Clausura
Soccer
2 views
Soccer
2 views

Alajuelense eliminated in the Costa Rican Clausura

AFP and The Tico Times - April 21, 2019

Liga Deportiva Alajuelense tied 2-2 against the reigning champion, Club Sport Herediano, and was eliminated from the semifinals of the…

Costa Rica bets on ending fossil fuel use by 2050
Climate Change
21 views
Climate Change
21 views

Costa Rica bets on ending fossil fuel use by 2050

Marco Sibaja / AFP - April 21, 2019

Eric Orlich and his wife Gioconda Rojas own two electric vehicles, which they charge at home in the garage thanks…

Pic of the Day: Costa Rica’s Isla Nublar (aka Cocos Island)
Pic of the Day
92 views
Pic of the Day
92 views

Pic of the Day: Costa Rica’s Isla Nublar (aka Cocos Island)

Alejandro Zúñiga - April 18, 2019

Isla Nublar, the setting for much of the "Jurassic Park" series, is unfortunately not a real Costa Rican island. Cocos…

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!