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Concerns Rise Over Dengue Spread in Costa Rica

Costa Rican health authorities expressed their concern about the spread of dengue fever in the country. Weather conditions have contributed to the propagation of the disease. In recent weeks, the number of patients with this disease has increased. According to the Ministry of Health, a total of 5,400 cases have been registered so far this year.

The projection for the rest of the year will definitely depend on the behavior of the population, according to specialists. Awareness, education, and action are key to control the spread of dengue. Collaboration with local authorities, massive garbage collection, and elimination of breeding sites are important actions to avoid an increase in the number of cases.

“This year, we faced a significant increase in cases, with 2013 being our worst year with 49,950 cases. In comparison, last year registered 30,000 cases and, starting in the middle of the year, we began to see the circulation of new serotypes that we did not have,” explained Roberto Castro, Head of the Epidemiology Unit.

According to the expert, the situation may become more worrisome because, since last year, instead of circulating only two dengue serotypes, four are circulating. Each serotype is a different variety of the disease.

If a person becomes infected with one type of dengue, it does not confer immunity to other strains of the virus. For the specialist, this increase in the diversity of serotypes is key in the analysis, as it increases the risk exponentially.

“Dengue is considered a cyclical disease, with outbreaks every three to four years. Currently, we are experiencing an active beginning of the year in terms of dengue cases,” added the expert.

Repellents and tarpaulins have been delivered to different Ebais and clinics, especially in communities with the highest incidence of dengue fever, as part of a plan implemented by the Costa Rican Social Security Fund (CCSS).

At the beginning of the month, approximately 40,000 houses were fumigated by health authorities, mainly in sectors such as La Carpio, Pavas, Santa Ana, Alajuelita, and Alajuela, the latter reported as the one with the most positive diagnoses.

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