Costa Rica’s Social Security System (Caja) announced Monday that it treated 14,399 patients for dengue fever in Costa Rica in 2011, according to a Channel 7’s Telenoticias report. That number breaks down to an average of 39 cases of dengue per day. The majority of the cases were part of an outbreak on the Atlantic Coast in the Limón province, where three different serotypes of dengue were present (TT, Sept. 27, 2011).
Only 74 cases out of all 14,399 last year were considered serious, according to data from the Epidemiological Surveillance System. Males and females contracted dengue at an approximately equal rate, but those in certain age ranges – namely 20 to 29 and 50 to 59 – were disproportionately affected.
Dengue fever is caused by a virus transmitted to humans by several types of mosquitoes. The most common is called Aedes aegypti. Dengue symptoms include fever, headache, joint and muscle pain and a rash. The best way to prevent the spread of dengue fever is to get rid of standing water receptacles, as these can serve as breeding grounds for mosquitoes.