Responding to a call for international collaboration, Costa Rica’s Health Ministry is helping Honduras as it faces a deadly outbreak of dengue fever.
Costa Rica donated insecticides and other substances for the control of mosquito larvae, according to the Health Ministry. The products were delivered by air this week to the Honduran government.
“We are in a mosquito transit strip, so, as a region we must work together to control the spread [of dengue],” said Health Minister Daniel Salas. “
“We respond to the call of Honduras in solidarity and with a responsibility for the well-being of the Central American region.”
Honduras declared a state of emergency in June as cases of the mosquito-borne disease skyrocketed. As of mid-August, the country had registered more than 61,500 cases of dengue fever. Of those, nearly 13,000 were classified as severe dengue, which is “a potentially deadly complication due to plasma leaking, fluid accumulation, respiratory distress, severe bleeding, or organ impairment,” according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
At least 100 people have died from dengue this year in Honduras, officials say.
Costa Rica has also experienced an increase in dengue fever cases during the ongoing rainy season. The Health Ministry has recorded 3,960 cases — up from 1,646 at the same time last year — and three instances of severe dengue. The most affected cantons are Sarapiquí, Guácimo, Pococí and Turrialba.
No one has died of dengue fever in Costa Rica during the current rainy season, the Health Ministry says.
According to WHO, “global incidence of dengue has grown dramatically in recent decades.” There is no specific treatment for dengue or severe dengue, but “early detection and access to proper medical care lowers fatality rates below 1%.”
The Health Ministry recommends reducing the risk of mosquito-borne diseases by:
- Eliminating standing water on your property.
- Applying mosquito repellent on exposed skin.
- Wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants.
- Using mosquito nets.