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Dengue fears prompt cancellation of Limón carnival

October 3, 2008

For the second year in a row, Costa Rica officials canceled the annual Caribbean carnival in Limón set for next weekend because for fears of dengue fever, according to the Public Health Ministry.

Health Minister María Luisa Avila told the daily La Nación that the city´s growing trash problem poses too great a risk of an outbreak.

The city´s trash must be hauled to a dumping ground 100 kilometers away, and the result is a backup of rubbish in the streets. The trash, which would multiply with the influx of people to the carnival, attracts mosquitoes.

Last year, Avila canceled the carnival after more than 2,000 cases of dengue plagued the Limón province in under a year. This year, cases are down 65 percent in the province, Avila told La Nación.

“I´d rather be the bad guy if it´s going to help people´s health,” she said. “We can´t risk losing what we´ve worked so hard for.”

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