Dengue raises alarm in Central America

July 3, 2013 by Noe Leiva

Authorities have issued dengue alerts in four nations across Central America, where alarm is rising as the mosquito-borne disease has infected 30,000 people and killed 17 this year alone.

Honduras, Costa Rica, Nicaragua and El Salvador have issued formal alerts. In Guatemala and Panama, officials say they are monitoring the disease, which normally spreads more easily later in the rainy season.

"It is great that they are coming around to fumigate; mosquitoes seem like no big deal but they really can kill you," said Mauricio Gonzalez, a mechanic in the Nueva Esperanza district south of Tegucigalpa.

So far this year, Honduras has had 10 deaths, 8,380 cases of ordinary dengue and 1,219 cases of dengue .

In Honduras alone, the 2010 epidemic killed 83 people.

Health authorities said they have been baffled by this recent outbreak, which has occurred despite a spate of unusually dry weather. The mosquitoes that 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 mosquito Aedes aegypti.

There is no vaccine, so in the region, where poverty is widespread, 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.

Explore further: Dengue fever outbreak hits Costa Rica

Related Stories

Dengue fever outbreak hits Costa Rica

April 10, 2013
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.

Costa Rica issues health alert over dengue

July 3, 2013
Costa Rica on Tuesday declared a health alert due to a dengue fever outbreak which has claimed three lives and infected about 12,000 people so far this year, authorities said.

Brazil to breed GM mosquitoes to combat dengue

July 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.

Dengue epidemic hits Angola for first time

May 8, 2013
An epidemic of dengue fever has broken out in oil-rich Angola for the first time, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said Wednesday.

Dengue fever surges in Singapore; 9,000 sickened

June 11, 2013
Singapore is telling doctors to be more vigilant against dengue fever as the mosquito-borne disease surges this year.

Dengue spreads in Madeira archipelago: officials

October 10, 2012
Dengue has spread in Portugal's Madeira archipelago since it appeared last week and there are now 18 confirmed cases, health officials said Wednesday.

Recommended for you

Scientists develop infection model for tickborne flaviviruses

August 22, 2017
National Institutes of Health (NIH) scientists have filled a research gap by developing a laboratory model to study ticks that transmit flaviviruses, such as Powassan virus. Powassan virus was implicated in the death of a ...

Zika virus stifles pregnant women's weakened immune system to harm baby, study finds

August 21, 2017
The Zika virus, linked to congenital birth defects and miscarriages, suppresses a pregnant woman's immune system, enabling the virus to spread and increasing the chances an unborn baby will be harmed, a Keck School of Medicine ...

Novel approach to track HIV infection

August 18, 2017
Northwestern Medicine scientists have developed a novel method of tracking HIV infection, allowing the behavior of individual virions—infectious particles—to be connected to infectivity.

Faulty gene linked to obesity in adults

August 18, 2017
Groundbreaking new research linking obesity and metabolic dysfunction to a problem in the energy generators in cells has been published by researchers from the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research and The University ...

Two lung diseases killed 3.6 million in 2015: study

August 17, 2017
The two most common chronic lung diseases claimed 3.6 million lives worldwide in 2015, according to a tally published Thursday in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine.

New test differentiates between Lyme disease, similar illness

August 16, 2017
Lyme disease is the most commonly reported vector-borne illness in the United States. But it can be confused with similar conditions, including Southern Tick-Associated Rash Illness. A team of researchers led by Colorado ...

0 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.