San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Nicaragua under dengue alert

Nicaraguan health authorities warned yesterday of a likely outbreak of dengue fever serotype 3, citing the spread of the mosquito-borne virus in Costa Rica, Honduras and El Salvador.

The Health Ministry´s chief of epidemiology, Juan José Amador, said this type of dengue will attack Nicaragua with “greater force” this year, harming in particular infants and people who have previously suffered from dengue.

“What´s happening in Costa Rica, Honduras and El Salvador is going to affect us tremendously,” Amador said in a statement.

He explained that dengue tends to cross borders, as eggs are carried in by wind. When other countries in the region get hit, Nicaragua won´t be an exception.

Dengue hemorrhagic fever, a more serious form of the disease, can be fatal.

Health authorities last year registered 2,295 suspected cases of dengue fever and another 205 of dengue hemorrhagic fever, a more serious form of the disease that can be fatal. Seventeen cases were confirmed; no deaths from dengue were recorded.

That was a big improvement from 2007, when 147 cases were confirmed and nine people died.

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