Dengue fever outbreak hits Costa Rica

Health officials in Costa Rica said an outbreak of dengue fever has sickened 7,000 people, with many cases occurring in some of this Central American country's most popular tourist areas.

The incidence of illness represents a three-fold increase over this time a year ago, according to Maria Villalta, medical director of national Social Security office, which has been tracking the outbreak.

Most of the cases have been reported along Costa Rica's Pacific Coast, an area popular with foreign tourists. Officials said about 2,500 cases of dengue have been reported there—eight times more than last year.

Health authorities said they have been baffled by this recent outbreak, which has occurred despite a spate of unusually dry weather. The mosquitoes which carry dengue usually proliferate in times of heavy rain.

Dengue affects between 50 and 100 million people in the tropics and subtropics each year, resulting in fever, muscle and joint ache.

The disease is caused by four strains of virus that are spread by the aegypti. There is no vaccine, so in the region have been trying to stamp it out by focusing on .

The illness can be fatal, developing into hemorrhagic fever which can lead to shock and internal bleeding.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Brazil to breed GM mosquitoes to combat dengue

Jul 10, 2012

Brazil said Monday it will breed huge numbers of genetically modified mosquitoes to help stop the spread of dengue fever, an illness that has already struck nearly 500,000 people this year nationwide.

Cuba issues warning about dengue mosquitos

Aug 16, 2012

Cuban health officials warned Thursday about an increased number of mosquitoes in the country's urban areas that can spread diseases such as dengue fever.

Two dengue cases confirmed on Portuguese Atlantic island

Oct 04, 2012

Portuguese health authorities on Thursday reported two cases of full-blown mosquito-borne dengue on the popular tourist archipelago of Madeira and said another 22 people were suspected of carrying the virus that causes the ...

Recommended for you

Ebola: timeline of a ruthless killer

8 hours ago

Here are key dates in the current Ebola epidemic, the worst ever outbreak of the haemorrhagic fever which first surfaced in 1976 in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Ebola reveals shortcomings of African solidarity

Jan 31, 2015

As Africa's leaders meet in Ethiopia to discuss the Ebola crisis, expectations of firm action will be tempered by criticism over the continent's poor record in the early stages of the epidemic.

Second bird flu case confirmed in Canada

Jan 30, 2015

The husband of a Canadian who was diagnosed earlier this week with bird flu after returning from a trip to China has also tested positive for the virus, health officials said Friday.

What exactly is coronavirus?

Jan 30, 2015

The conflicts in Syria and Iraq are straining public health systems and public health efforts meant to prevent and detect the spread of infectious diseases. This is generating a "perfect storm" of conditions for outbreaks. Among the infections raising concern is Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, caused by a type of coronavirus, which emerged in 2012. ...

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.