Out-of-work fishermen asked to join dengue fight

An upswing in the cases of dengue on the Pacific coast and a declaration of an emergency have results in increased labor to eliminate the places where mosquitoes breed. There also are major fumigation projects in Paritta and Jacó.

The Ministerio de Salud said that there was concern because a religious festival in Puntarenas Centro was bringing many visitors to the area Sunday. In addition there is mid-year vacations with many Central Valley residents vacationing along the Pacific beaches.

The danger is that some will become infected with dengue and bring the disease back home where they will infect more mosquitoes.

The canton of Paritta leads the list of areas with the highest number of dengue cases in the last five weeks, said the Ministerio de Salud. In Paritta on the central Pacific there were 511 reported cases. 

Other cantons and the number of cases are Orotina with 328, Puntarenas with 301, Garabito (Jacó) with 254, Monte de Oro with 82 and Esparza with 77.

Among other measures, the Ministerio de Salud said it has offered jobs to some 2,500 unemployed fishermen in conjunction with a program operated by Instituto Mixto de Ayuda Social. The fishermen are out of work because there is seasonable prohibition against fishing in the gulf of Nicoya.

The fishermen are expected to conduct cleanups and eliminate many more places where Aedes aegyptimosquito larva grow into adults. 

Fumigation and cleanup crews were in Puntarenas Friday and Saturday in anticipation of the Festival de Virgen del Mar. This is a colorful tourism event with a seagoing procession.

Workers also sprayed nearly 6,000 homes in Jacó and the canton of Garabito over the last week, the ministry said.

Dengue, called breakbone fever, is a virus disease spread by the mosquitoes. It causes muscle and joint pain, headaches and a rash. A second bout of dengue can result in sometimes fatal hemorrhagic fever. The virus has four types, so scientists have been unable to create a vaccine.

Aedes aegypti adults are day biters, and the use of appropriate repellants is urged.

This entry was posted in Costa Rica News. Bookmark the permalink.