News and Facts about Cuba

Standing Water Causes Dengue Fever Outbreaks In Arroyo Naranjo

Standing Water Causes Fever Outbreaks In Arroyo Naranjo /
14ymedio, Yosmany Mayeta
Posted on February 11, 2016

14ymedio, Yosmany Mayeta, Havana, 10 February 2016 — Unexpected rains
earlier this year have required the strengthening of anti-vector
campaigns against the Aedes aegypti mosquito. In several areas of the
Arroyo Naranjo district, in Havana, standing water has caused an
increase in cases of dengue fever, according to public sources.

Maria Mendoza, a doctor with the Mantilla Polyclinic, said that in
recent weeks more than twenty people with fevers have been reported in
the area, and others have gone to the doctor with symptoms
characteristic of dengue fever. “The situation is quite serious,” the
specialist added.

A doctor at Julio Trigo details that rooms for people with
dengue fever remain full because “this municipality has several
unhealthy neighborhoods and slums, many streets are unpaved and the
sewers are not working.” The doctor fears that under such conditions
“zika will come to the country and we’ll have a situation favorable to
its propagation.”

The problem is worsened by the shortage of repellents and mosquito nets
in the stores in the city. A search conducted by this newspaper in shops
and markets in Havana, including pharmacies that sell products both in
local currency and in convertible pesos, confirms the scarce supply of
these products.

Only in the centrally located Carlos III market, in Central Havana, was
it possible to find a bottle with less than 3.5 ounces of repellent, and
the price was 1.65 convertible pesos (CUC), equivalent to two days’
wages. Mosquito nets, meanwhile, are only for sale in departments for
newborns, at small sizes and prices that exceed 15 CUC (more than $15 US).

Cases of patients who are not reported to any health center are also
increasing. Many prefer to endure the illness at home rather than in a
hospital, where hygienic and supply problems abound. In the case of
Lucia, who had “fever, headache, red spots all over my skin,” she
declined to be admitted. “”I didn’t even tell my family doctor,” she said.

TV ads warn that when a person is infected with dengue and is bitten by
the Aedes aegypti mosquito it acts as a bridge to transmit the virus to
others. If the patient does not remain isolated under a net, the chances
of infecting family members and neighbors increases significantly.

As a part of urgent measures to eradicate the infestation in the most
affected areas of Arroyo Naranjo, family physicians have developed plans
for educational talks in the neighborhoods with the highest rate of
infestation. In Las Manzanas, with an increased number of identified
cases, they have also increased fumigation and inspections for breeding
sites and larvae.

Jorge, a vector campaign worker in the Fraternidad neighborhood,
explains that “with these rains, the mosquito lays her eggs anywhere
water collects and this is how the epidemic grows.” He also warns,
“Another danger is the accumulated garbage on street corners and
makeshift dumps that trigger outbreaks.”

For many residents in the district, the greatest danger in the area is
no longer badly lit streets or the frequent robberies, rather it takes
the form of a small mosquito that spreads the dreaded “Breakbone Fever.”

Source: Standing Water Causes Dengue Fever Outbreaks In Arroyo Naranjo /
14ymedio, Yosmany Mayeta | Translating Cuba –

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