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Friday, February 23, 2024

Costa Rica battles rising dengue fever outbreak

The Costa Rican Ministry of Health reported that between January 21-27, 2024, there were 2,679 cases of dengue fever registered. This represents an increase of 298 compared to the same period last year in 2023.

Health experts also noted that, fortunately, there were no deaths recorded due to the disease.

The Health Surveillance Directorate highlighted that in epidemiological week number four, there was a surge of cases in the Central North region with 646 confirmed cases, followed by the Central South with 519, and the Central Pacific with 454 patients.

The cantons with the highest number of cases are Alajuela with 308 cases, San José with 236, Puntarenas with 218, Turrialba with 183, and Atenas with 94 cases.

Official data recorded 28,420 cases of dengue fever in 2023, with no deaths attributed to the disease, as 1,006,526 homes were fumigated, and 3,252,527 breeding sites were located during health inspections that year.

Likewise, the entity requested collaboration with Public Health personnel to visit households for focal surveillance, cleaning, or fumigation with the aim of destroying mosquito larvae breeding sites.

“The Ministry of Health continues to implement various measures to halt the spread of this disease, including interventions with vector control teams, fumigations, elimination of breeding sites inside and outside homes, and door-to-door visits as part of focal efforts,” stated the institution.

As explained by specialists, dengue is a preventable and controllable disease if all breeding sites are eliminated from the vicinity. Therefore, the population is urged to regularly clean and empty water containers used for domestic purposes, inspect and clean canoes and all black plastic in home yards, as well as store unused tires under cover or take them to designated collection sites.

“We urge you to cooperate with our officials during home fumigation visits, ensuring they present proper identification,” the Ministry of Health emphasized in a press release.

Common symptoms of dengue fever include headache, muscle and joint pain, nausea, vomiting, pain behind the eyes, and rash.

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