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Wildlife

Dengue Mosquitoes Active in Samara and Nicoya
Ministerio de Salud says increase in cases is due to lack of prevention at home

By Arianna McKinney

Dr. Oscar Mendez Campos, coordinator of Dengue for the Hospital de la Anexion in Nicoya, confirmed that there have been cases of dengue this year both in Nicoya and Samara, but he hasn’t seen any cases from Nosara so far. Though there haven’t been any deaths from dengue in the area this year, there have been few cases of hemorrhagic fever, the more severe form of dengue, in Nicoya.

Generally, dengue season begins at the end of June and runs until the beginning of December due to the rainfall, according to Mendez Campos. However, cases can still occur during dry season because of stored water or sewer problems.

When cases of dengue are confirmed, the hospital turns in an obligatory report to the Ministerio de Salud (Ministry of Health), and the Ministerio de Salud follows up with investigations and preventive campaigns. Mendez Campos said such campaigns have been conducted this year in Nicoya and Samara.

Tesalvina Rodriguez Rodriguez, who lives in Samara, came down with dengue at the beginning of October. It is the third time she has had dengue. At first, her illness was misdiagnosed, she said, but she recognized the same symptoms from when she had dengue previously, such as pain in her eyes and body, headache and fever.

“I didn’t want to go to the hospital,” she said, “but they obligated me.” She had a blood test done at the hospital in Nicoya, which confirmed that her platelets were low. She was sick for a week, and said that this time the sickness was stronger than the other times she’s had it. She was completely drained of energy and had no desire to eat. She still feels tired and says her defenses are low.

“I have to be careful now,” she said. She puts on mosquito repellent whenever she goes out and shoes mosquitoes away whenever she sees them. She said the Ministerio de Salud came to visit her home and found everything there clean and in order.

Tesalvina Rodriguez Rodriguez suspects that she got dengue when visiting a relative in Cangrejal, an area of Samara. She remembers being stung by a mosquito with white on its legs and body, the telltale sign of the Aedes aegypti, the type of mosquito that carries dengue.

A presentation by the Ministry of Health titled “what I should know about dengue” states that dengue is one of the illnesses that causes the greatest alarm in this country. Cases have increased considerably for various reasons, but it seems that the principle enemy is lack of prevention at home. The mosquito prefers to breed in clean stagnant waters, in receptacles or places traditionally not related to garbage, such as tins, vases or rain gutters.

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