Costa Rica News – One of the biggest epidemics over the past year was dengue fever in Costa Rica. The numbers hit an all time high in Costa Rica which was surprising considering we had one of the driest rainy seasons I have been through in Costa Rica.
Although it is normally not life threatening it is not something that anyone wants to go through. I had a friend that got a dose of this virus a couple of weeks ago and she was knocked out of commission for about 6 days and lost close to 15 pounds. Not a pretty sight.
With an outbreak of Dengue Fever in Panama and 50,000 people in Costa Rica affected last year alone, the Ministry of Health is taking serious measures to control its spread. They and the CCSS have invested 14,000 million colones in 2013 to address the issue.
Fumigation equipment has been used to help eliminate mosquito breeding sites. The Ministry of Health has made their guidelines for eliminating breeding sites very clear. They have sent mass text messages, hung posters, and held campaigns at local Ebais clinics to teach the public about Dengue and how it spreads.
They have asked the public to take care of regularly emptying any containers that have collected water. Areas where potted plants, garbage bins, or any other containers are held, are susceptible to attracting Dengue carrying female mosquitoes, who will then lay eggs in the accumulated water.
They are also doing one thing that will probably help the most; holding people accountable for providing breeding grounds for the mosquitoes.
People who fail to comply with the guidelines they set forth could face a fine of at least 38,000 colones. Next week, the Ministry of Health will submit a draft to amend articles of the General Health Law to the Legislative Assembly.
The plan allows for inspectors to make reviews of homes and businesses and give out sanitary orders to people, requiring them to take care of anything that goes against the guidelines. If the order is not met, the people will be fined.
Dengue Fever is a virus that results in severe joint pain and fever. In severe cases, it is capable of leading to death. With the ongoing initiatives to stop the spread of Dengue, the CCSS and Ministry of Health plan to spend just 2,800 million colones on the care of Dengue patients this year, compared to 14,000 million spent last year.
We will wee the of the measures have the desired results as we head into 2014.