According to health officials, an outbreak of dengue fever in Camagüey province has recently spread to Cienfuegos and Villa Clara provinces. The most affected areas include the city of Florida (Camagüey province), the municipalities of Lajas, Palmira, and Cumanayagua (Cienfuegos province), and Ranchuelo (Villa Clara province). A rise in suspected cases of the Zika virus, carried by the same mosquito as dengue fever, has also been reported in the city of Florida.
Symptoms of dengue fever include fever, headache, muscle and joint pain, fatigue, nausea, and rashes. Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever (DHF) is a potentially deadly complication that is characterized by high fever, the enlargement of the liver, and hemorrhaging.
Symptoms of Zika - fever, headache (behind the eyes), conjunctivitis, rash, vomiting, and muscle and joint pain - can appear two to seven days following contraction of the disease, although the virus is asymptomatic in approximately 80 percent of cases. Transmission of the virus is also possible via sexual intercourse. Although the Zika virus is usually relatively benign, links between it and severe birth defects as well as the potentially fatal neurological disorder Guillain-Barre syndrome (GBS) have been established.
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 screened-in or air-conditioned rooms).
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