AMERICA/COSTA RICA - Government Health Ministry on alert for new form of dengue

San Jose (Agenzia Fides) – The Ministry of Health is on alert for the presence of "dengue 4", the only type of dengue not circulating in the country, but that has been found in Nicaragua and Honduras. The alarm of the authorities of Costa Rica was made through the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO, linked to the United Nations).
The "dengue 4" is no more dangerous than the other three types of viruses that are already in the country, but as it is a "new" version, it could have a "higher capacity of infection," said Mary Ethel Trejo Solorzano, acting Director of the Office for Health Surveillance.
The news report sent to Fides by local press sources noted the concern of the authorities, because if the “dengue 4” enters the country, all those people who have already suffered the types 1, 2 or 3 may have the hemorrhagic variant.
According to the latest report of the Ministry of Health on dengue, since the beginning of the year until July 26 there have been 15,916 people who have suffered the disease. This figure represents an increase of 603% in comparison to the same period last year.
Trejo said the best way to prevent the development of dengue 4 is to eliminate potential mosquito breeding sites. She added that "among the countries of Central America there is a great movement of people, and if Costa Rica does not take steps (to stop dengue 4 from entering), there will be serious problems." (CE) (Agenzia Fides 07/08/2010)

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