San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Dengue Cases Decrease This Year

CASES of dengue have decreased inCosta Rica, according to Health MinisterMaría Sáenz.The number of people afflicted with themosquito-borne disease, which inducesfever, pain and, in rare cases, hemorrhagingand death, dropped by more than 5,000compared to last year, Sáenz said.The ministry recorded more than10,600 people with the disease in the firstnine months of 2003, while this year itsregistry reports fewer than 5,600 cases inthe same period.The regions where the disease hasmost effectively been controlled are theGuanacaste province, on the northernPacific coast, and the central Pacific zone.The Caribbean coast continues to bethe region with the highest numbers ofcases, but numbers are dropping there, aswell, according to the ministry.During all of 2003 there were 19,703cases of dengue reported, 69 of whichwere hemorrhagic.Dengue is carried by the mosquitoAedes aegypti and comes in variousstrains. The hemorrhagic type can causedeath by loss of bodily fluids if not treatedin time.

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