Granada health officials give mosquitoes death-cloud treatment

There have been 241 confirmed cases of dengue in Nicaragua this year, including three cases of hemorrhagic fever in Granada this week, according to health officials

Health authorities in Granada today launched a culicidal offensive against mosquitoes following three confirmed cases of dengue hemorrhagic fever on Calle Palenque, four blocks west of the Central Park.

As neighbors gathered in the street, clutching a squirmy collection of cats, dogs and wing-flapping parrots, health authorities blasted each home with thermal foggers, covering the entire city block in an unhealthy-looking bluish and white cloud of insecticides mixed with diesel (if the dengue doesn’t get you, the emphysema probably will).

Safety First: “You can go back in the house in 10 minutes” (photo /Tim Rogers)

“You can go back in your house in 10 minutes,” one health official explained, as he emerged from the thick cloud of a fog-bombed house, wearing no mask or protective gear and inspiring little confidence in his precautionary advice.

Thermal fogging is loud and intrusive, but it’s still the best way to kill adult mosquitoes when the right kinds and combinations of insecticides are used, health officials say. Fogging is also good for killing just about everything else that crawls or flies around the house, as a post fog-bomb survey of the battlefield reveals.

The fogging does not, however, kill mosquito larvae, which need to be treated with special larvicide chemicals, usually in granular form. A separate health official came by Calle Palenque two hours after the fog had settled—waiting notably longer than the 10 minutes advised by her colleagues—to treat homes for larvae, giving resident mosquitoes and their wiggly offspring the one-two punch.

Dengue, also known as “bone-break fever,” is an infectious disease transmitted by certain types of mosquitoes. Symptoms include a spiking fever, headache, muscle and joint pains, and a skin rash. Severe cases can lead to hallucinations or life-threatening hemorrhagic fever, resulting in bleeding from the nose, mouth and eyes.

There are four types of dengue, and no vaccine.

Health officials in Managua tell The Nicaragua Dispatch that there have been 2,113 possible cases of dengue nationwide, of which 241 cases have been confirmed. First Lady Rosario Murillo announced last week that the government officials have visited more than 100,000 homes as part of its dengue-prevention campaign.



  • Els van Woudenberg

    I contracted Dengue fever in Nov. 2010, in all probability in Granada.
    I was lucky enough to be back state side when the symptoms of Dengue Fever appeared and was treated in a hospital. Never been so sick in my life! So, folks, do take precautions, use insect repellent and stay away from mosquito infested areas if you can help it. Glad to see the locals are trying to do something about it, though not too sure this fumigating is that effective, we’ll see.

  • Gerd

    We educated our local MINSA not to spray our place. Because: the spraying causes in first place growing resistancy of the mosquito aedes aegyptii, and breathing this fine diesel cloud does not sound very healthy. (They never wanted to give me the name of the insecticide; “does no harm, but cover water and other places of food etc.” And the cucarachas fell down dead from the roof days after the spraying.) The first years I had to stand in the middle of the street, stopping the spray truck, letting it through only after they were shutting down the canon; after that they had learned and did not show up again at our patio (10 mz with mainly trees).

    We now do not have more nor less mosquitos than others, my wife got dengue twice in 17 years (one week in bed with moquitero not wanting to live any more…, then recovering), the rest of the family did not get it ever.

  • The Cat

    I know that I’m posting this WAY after you first published the article, but, I just had to say, in response to the caption for the first picture (“Culicidal Cloud: health authorities fog bomb for misquotes in Granada (photo/ Tim Rogers)”), those poor misquotes. What did they ever do to deserve bombing? LOL…

    • Tim Rogers

      Cat, That typo is too funny–and ironic– to fix. I’m going to leave it the way it is. Let that be a lesson to us all: death to all misquotes (but I will pardon this one).