Clean-up campaign targets mosquitoes and dengue

San José and the nation’s public health provider have embarked on a mission to cut drastically the cases of dengue this year in the metro area.

The campaign is titled Yo quiero mi distrito limpio or “I want my district clean.” The Municipalidad de San José and the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social are joined by Bridgestone de Costa Rica, the tire maker.

The dengue virus is carried by mosquitoes, and the way to reduce the cases is to eliminate the breeding places. Old tires filled with rainwater are perfect for mosquito breeding.

The Central Valley is seeing more and more cases of dengue because there is more travel to the coasts where dengue is a real problem. In 2010, the Caja
saw 31,234 cases nationwide. The disease is called bone breaker because of the deep, agonizing pains that seem to be in the bones. A second infection with a different strain of dengue virus can be fatal.

Gabriela Murillo Jenkins, manager of infrastructure and technology for the Caja, said that the place to combat the disease is not in the clinics or the hospitals but in the heart of the communities.

More than 3,900 persons had to be hospitalized last year due to the disease.

Pavas, La Uruca, San Sebastián, Hatillo and Paso Ancho are among the most vulnerable areas because of the high concentration of people, said the Caja.

The rainy season provides a boost for breeding mosquitoes, which is why the cleanup campaign is being kicked off now.

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