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Costa Rica reports fewer cases of dengue this year

June 5, 2015

The number of dengue cases in the first five months of this year in Costa Rica dropped by 50.4 percent compared with figures from last year, the Health Ministry reported.

From Jan. 1 to May 23 the ministry registered a total of 1,254 cases, compared to 2,528 cases during the same period last year.

Coastal areas are the most affected, with Guanacaste registering 448 cases, Puntarenas with 303 and Limón with 145. San José and Alajuela saw 132 cases, followed by Heredia with 72 and Cartago with 18.

The number of dengue cases usually spikes during Costa Rica’s rainy season, which begins in May and lasts until November. Health officials are continuing to ask residents to remove tires, vases, bottles and any other objects that collect stagnant water. These objects are the main breeding habitat for the Aedes aegypti mosquito, a carrier of the dengue virus, and the Aedes albopictus, which transmits both dengue and the Chikungunya virus, a disease that causes symptoms similar to dengue, but more severe, and that can last for up to 10 months.

Costa Rica in 2014 registered a total of 10,928 dengue cases, while in 2013 the country registered a milestone of 49,993 dengue cases, according to the Health Ministry.

Officials currently are lobbying for support at the Legislative Assembly to pass legislation to fine people who fail to destroy objects that can collect stagnant water.

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