Dengue virus makes more people sick in Costa Rica, at a time when Central America faces an epidemic with more than 200 deaths
The number of dengue cases in Costa Rica is seeing an upward trend at a time when the rest of Central American countries face an epidemic that has already killed more than 200 people, especially in Honduras.
To date, the Ministry of Health registers 2,639 patients, a figure that is 160% higher than that registered in the same period of 2018. No deaths are reported.
Regions such as the Central North (Alajuela and Heredia) with 1,272 cases, Huetar Caribe (658), Sarapiquí (960), Pococí (288), Guácimo (176) and Alajuela center (165), are the areas affected the most.
Communities such as Aguas Zarcas, Turrialba and Jaco report a slight increase in cases in recent weeks, Health said.
“Central America suffers a significant peak of dengue cases, and our country is not far behind since we have an increase of 160%, compared to 2018. Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala are the countries that report the most cases, including dozens of deaths. Given this situation, we strongly call on the population to give a frontal fight against the mosquito that transmits dengue, eliminating all possible breeding grounds in our homes and communities,” said Rodrigo Marín, director of Health Surveillance.
In Nicaragua, authorities there have issued an alert over the spread of dengue fever, which has killed at least eight people this year and is suspected in some 55,000 cases.
Costa Rica’s Ministry of Heath says the mitigation work has allowed this year to spray 110,000 homes throughout the country, which has eliminated around two million dengue hatcheries.
Big little enemy
The dengue virus entered the country in 1992.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the infection causes flu symptoms and sometimes evolves into a life-threatening condition called severe dengue. The females, mainly of the Aedes aegypti species and, to a lesser extent, of A. albopictus, are those that transmit the disease.