Health ministry announces agressive dengue effort

Costa Rica witnessed the highest rate of impact in dengue or the breakbone fever of any Central American country in 2013. So the advent of the new year has not eased continued concerns over dengue fever.

The disease primarily is transmitted to humans via mosquito bites and stems from insects developing in standing water habitats. Most cases result in headaches, skin irritation, and muscle pains.

However more severe side affects of hemorrhaging have proven to be fatal for some.

Daisy Corrales, the minister of Salud, presented detailed plans Monday to stop the epidemic. She highlighted community support, additional fumigations in public and private places, and collaboration with dozens of private entities. Sporting programs like “Mi comunidad sin dengue,” Dr. Corrales and her crew promise early efforts to reduce cases of the disease.

Research suggests that the tropical disease is most rapidly spread between friends and families in private places, even more so than popular public spheres like schools and parks.

In the past decade alone the nation has seen epidemic numbers every two to three years, and the numbers point to Costa Ricans being due for another epidemic in 2014.

Because of such mounting concern, the health ministry has set aside roughly $600,000 to invest into the prevention and elimination of dengue.

At a Monday press conference, the ministry unveiled new fumigation equipment used to spray mosquito breeding grounds and other affected areas.

Dr. Corrales confirmed that the most high risk parts of the country continue to be the central Pacific, Guanacaste, and the Caribbean coast.

Preventing dengue spread at home starts with emptying out or eliminating spots with open water. Also insecticides have proven to help stop the disease from spreading.  Health officials have been criticized for not responding soon enough last year to the rising number of dengue cases.

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