AROUND THE COUNTRY (By Wilberth Villalobos Castrillo, Vozdeguanacaste) The Ministry of Health did not have vacations this holiday season. Instead, the health surveillance department and the vector team toured neighborhoods to fumigate focal points in various areas of the canton.
The regional Health office issued a statement on December 9 in which it urged Nicoyans to strengthen sanitary controls in order to reduce the proliferation of the Aedes aegypti and Aedes Albopictus mosquitos through the elimination of breeding sites.
During the last weeks of December, the vector team found 2,368 dengue breeding sites and visited 360 homes. The Nicoyan neighborhoods that reported the highest number of cases were San Martin and Los Angeles.
In total, ten health officials have worked throughout the year end to carry out tours in Nicoya and Samara.
Dr. Zinna Cordero, regional director of Health for Nicoya, stated that their efforts have had a positive impact, considering that in November of 2014 the year’s highest number of cases were registered (119), while in December the number was reduced to 80.
“Really, we have seen a reduction in cases. The external fumigation has been done where there are the most cases, and analyzing [the situation in] Samara today, there is not a single case of dengue reported. So we want to concentrate on downtown Nicoya,” said Cordero.
The method for this kind of tour is targeted and consists of visiting every house where a case of dengue has been reported.
Thereafter, the house is inspected and fumigated inside and out, and then the inspection is extended to a range of 100 meters.
“At this time I can guarantee that the San Martin neighborhood was fumigated during the last two weeks [of December]. The neighborhoods of Los Angeles, El Carmen and Santa Lucia were also fumigated,” said Cordero.
To date, the Ministry of Health has reported sporadic cases in La Mansion, Nosara, Quebrada Honda and San Antonio.
“For January, we have house-by-house visits programmed and we are asking people to spend ten minutes per week inspecting their house and yard to eliminate potential dengue breeding sites,” concluded Cordero.