San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Dengue fever deaths climb to 12 in Nicaragua

MANAGUA, Nicaragua – Nicaragua faces a health “crisis” due to a dengue epidemic that on Wednesday caused the death of two more people. The number of fatalities from dengue is now 12, according to First Lady Rosario Murillo, who is the Sandinista government’s official spokeswoman.

“It’s a crisis [of health] that we are confronting. … There are deaths that we could have prevented, but the problem with dengue is that we often don’t think it can be fatal. We don’t take it seriously,” Murillo said.

“In this case a little bit of fear is healthy, … not panic, but fear can bring responsible action, [such as] coming to health centers on time and avoiding more pain for Nicaraguan families,” she added.

Murillo confirmed the death this Wednesday of an elderly woman, 78, originally from San Juan del Norte, in the southern Caribbean, and a 24-year-old medical student.

On Sunday in a hospital in the city of León, a 15-year-old boy also died from complications caused by dengue, according to medical sources.

Approximately 5,000 people have contracted the disease and some 57 were hospitalized due to symptoms caused by virus that the Aedes aegypti mosquito transmits, according to health officials.

Murillo urged an intensification of efforts at the institutional and community levels, and divulging the best results found to confront the epidemic.

Nicaragua is in a second phase of the epidemic.

“This is the peak period of the year, and everyone needs to be conscious that dengue kills and quickly,” warned Health Minister Sonia Castro.

Meanwhile, Nicaraguan officials continue fumigating homes and destroying mosquito nurseries, which reproduce in standing water.

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