Honduras Declares Dengue Fever Alert

July 13, 2007

TEGUCIGALPA – The Honduran Health Ministry has declared an alert in the capital due to an increase in dengue cases.

Deputy Health Minister Carlos Aguilar said officials agreed to take additional measures in the Tegucigalpa metropolitan area because “this is where the largest number of cases have been found.”

So far this year, at least two people have died and 134 cases of hemorrhagic dengue have been registered, while 3,878 cases of classic dengue have been reported in the Central American country, Aguilar told a local radio news program.

Dengue is a serious viral disease transmitted by the Aedes aegypti mosquito that is characterized by high fever, intense headaches, muscle pain, gastrointestinal problems and rashes.

Hemorrhagic dengue, in addition to having symptoms associated with classic dengue, like fever, headaches and joint pain, can also eventually result in internal bleeding and requires hospitalization.

Aguilar, who did not reveal how many cases occurred in Tegucigalpa, said the alert was declared with the goal of “getting out in front of this problem so that it does not get out of hand.”

The official noted, however, that “the cases we have continue to be well below the big epidemics we’ve had in prior years.”

In 2006, six of the at least 172 people who came down with hemorrhagic dengue died, while some 7,800 cases of classic dengue were registered in Honduras.

The deputy health minister said the state of alert would allow authorities to dedicate more personnel, medicines, supplies and equipment to dealing with dengue cases at Tegucigalpa’s public hospitals.

 

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