Nicaragua takes aim at Dengue Fever

For those of you traveling to Central America, the fight against Dengue Fever has not eased.  The Asssociated Press released this article about the recent stand that Nicaragua is taking against the disease.  In previous blogs we mentioned the epidemic in Central America and while countries such as Honduras and Nicaragua are being proactive, extreme caution should be taken when traveling in urban areas.  There is no cure for Dengue Fever, so it always best to practice prevention…use insect repellant with DEET, wear light colored clothing and long sleeves and pants.

Nicaragua mobilizes fumigation against dengue
(Associated Press)

A worker from the Nicaraguan health ministry fumigates a resident’s front yard in Managua, Nicaragua, Thursday, Oct. 31, 2013. According to the government, more than 5,000 cases of dengue have been reported this year and has claimed 14 lives.MANAGUA, Nicaragua (AP) – Hundreds of health workers spread across Nicaragua’s capital this week to fumigate every home against a mosquito that spreads dengue. They were also on the lookout for people infected with the sometimes deadly disease.

The government ordered city workers to squirt insecticide over puddles on streets and to spread insecticide inside each home in Managua, authorities said Thursday.

Officials also deployed health workers throughout Nicaragua to identify people sick with dengue and move them to health care facilities and to educate communities about dengue prevention.

Most of Nicaragua’s 5,400 dengue cases, including 14 deaths, are concentrated on the border with Honduras. Honduras has reported nearly 18,000 cases so far, compared with 15,000 for all of 2012.

Central America is on track to have one of its worst years ever for dengue.

The disease is a leading cause of illness and death in the tropics and subtropics, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control says. The virus-transmitting aedes aegypti mosquitoes are found in dense population areas where a combination of people and standing water allow them to breed and thrive.

There is no vaccine or cure for dengue. Treatment can mirror that for standard flu symptoms or can be more extensive for patients who have to be hospitalized. People contracting the most severe type, hemorrhagic dengue, can experience severe pain, breathing difficulties, bleeding and even circulatory failure.

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