Nicaragua is facing one of its worst spikes in dengue in recent years, with more than 4,200 reported cases nationwide, including 12 deaths. In Managua alone, there are 1,579 reported cases of dengue, including 79 people who have been hospitalized with the mosquito-borne disease, according to La Prensa’s citation of health officials.
“We are in the second phase (of dengue season), and this is the highest spike we’ve seen all year,” said Health Minister Sonia Castro. “We all need to be aware that dengue kills, and it kills fast. Anyone of us can be killed by dengue.”
The health minister said that people who report serious signs of infection– high fever, stomach pains, exhaustion, chills and bleeding–should go to a hospital or health clinic immediately.
“I want the population to know that if they are showing serious signs of dengue, there is a 50% chance they could die, even if they are in the health clinic. So we have to destroy the mosquitos’ nests for breeding,” Castro said.
The health minister said that garbage throw on the streets and in lots creates breeding grounds for mosquitos. By eliminating the garbage problem–something the first lady’s “live pretty” campaign has failed to do–Nicaragua could reduce dengue by 60%, the health minister claims.
Following the death this week of two more women afflicted with dengue–Bertha Miranda, 68, and medical student Tamara Mercado, 24–first lady Rosario Murillo called on Nicaraguans to take the health epidemic more seriously. Deaths caused by dengue should be prevented, she said.