Health officials in Costa Rica have reported a significant increase in dengue cases in the first half of 2019. As of June, over 1 600 cases have been reported, compared to 975 cases in 2018, a 70 percent increase. The North Central and the Huetar Caribe zones are most affected with 801 and 392 cases, respectively.
The start of the rainy season in the coming months is likely to correspond with an increase in cases.
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 Costa Rica 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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