Suriname hit with dengue epidemic, health ministry says
Suriname health authorities confirmed Wednesday that a dengue epidemic has taken hold here, resulting in numerous of people being hospitalized over the past month.
"Up to now more than 300 dengue cases have been registered at the Academic hospital lab, while other labs also confirm cases," the health ministry said in a press release.
With the dengue outbreak now a month old, health authorities said they believe cases of the mosquito-borne disease are peaking.
A crisis team established by the health ministry currently works towards intensive education, awareness and pest control.
"We have put in all pesticides, material and crew to tackle the epidemic, but we don't have a vaccine to kill the dengue virus once a person has it," Lesley Resida, head of the Bureau for Public Healthcare (BOG), told reporters.
Due to overcrowding in hospitals, patients were being treated in the army's health facilities. Last week Jennifer Simons, speaker of Suriname's parliament, was hospitalized for dengue.
Though the health ministry did not disclose information on official deaths, health authorities fear it could outnumber an outbreak in 1999-2000 when 15 people died.
Dengue or break bone/dandy fever is a disease transmitted by the dengue mosquito.
The health ministry has advised people to immediately contact their physician if they notice that they are suffering from a continuous fever.
(c) 2012 AFP