In late November, authorities confirmed an outbreak of the type 1 strand of dengue fever in south-central Cienfuegos province. According to local health officials, no fatalities have been reported as of Wednesday, December 5, and special treatment centers have been created for patients with dengue fever. Authorities have also increased other public health measures, such as fumigation campaigns, to eliminate mosquito breading grounds.
Outbreaks of type 1 dengue fever also occurred in Cuba in 1977 (over 500,000 people were infected) and in 1981, which left 344,203 people infected and 158 dead.
Dengue fever is a mosquito-borne disease found mostly in urban and semi-urban areas. Symptoms include fever, headache, muscle and joint pain, fatigue, nausea, and rash. In a small number of cases, the potentially deadly dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) may develop, resulting in internal bleeding, enlargement of the liver, and high fever.
Individuals present in Cuba are advised to take measures to protect themselves from mosquito bites (e.g. by wearing covering clothing, using insect repellent, and sleeping in a screened-in or air-conditioned room) and to eliminate possible mosquito breeding grounds on their properties (e.g. small pockets of fresh water, such as rainwater that has collected in cans, bottles, tires, flower pots, clogged gutters, etc.).
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