Double jeopardy: Costa Rica’s Health Ministry reports 2 people were infected with both dengue and chikungunya

December 19, 2014

Coming down with dengue or chikungunya is a feverish nightmare. Now imagine having both viruses at the same time. That’s what happened to two residents of the Pacific community of Chomes, in Puntarenas, who tested positive for both viruses, Costa Rica’s Health Ministry reported Thursday.

The dual diagnoses were confirmed in lab tests by the Costa Rican Nutrition and Health Research Institute.

Roberto Castro, from the ministry’s Health Surveillance Department, said a double infection is possible because both viruses are transmitted by the same mosquitoes – the Aedes aegypti and the Aedes albopictus. Those two mosquitoes can carry the viruses simultaneously.

Castro said both patients are in good condition, and surprisingly neither required hospitalization.

The Health Ministry this week reported 61 cases of chikungunya in the country, of which 42 originated from abroad and 19 were local. All of the local cases originated in the Pacific provinces of Puntarenas and Guanacaste, in the communities of Chomes, Costa Pájaros, Manzanillo and Abangares.

The most recent outbreak of chikungunya began in late November. Ministry staff are responding by fumigating and inspecting sites in both provinces to eliminate objects that collect stagnant water, which serve as breeding sites for mosquitoes.

Also on Thursday, the Social Security System, or Caja, reported 972 cases of dengue at public hospitals nationwide. That number represents a decrease of nearly 80 percent over last year. Nevertheless, Caja officials urged the public to remaing vigilant.

Most cases of dengue (62 percent) were diagnosed in the southern coastal regions, both in the Pacific and the Caribbean.

Dengue and chikungunya cause high fever and severe joint pain. Chikungunya symptoms are more severe and can last for up to 10 months.

Castro called on residents in coastal provinces to help eliminate breeding sites, as the ministry has not ruled out the possibility of additional dual-infection cases.

You may be interested

PHOTOS: ‘There’s a new normal in Puerto Rico’
News
1091 views
News
1091 views

PHOTOS: ‘There’s a new normal in Puerto Rico’

John McPhaul - October 22, 2017

There’s a new normal in Puerto Rico. Not having electricity is the new normal. Reading with a light that straps…

5 questions for Costa Rican dancer Gustavo Hernández
Weekend Arts Spotlight
549 views
Weekend Arts Spotlight
549 views

5 questions for Costa Rican dancer Gustavo Hernández

Elizabeth Lang - October 22, 2017

For Gustavo Hernández, dance is a tool for communication and expression - but also a powerful motor for social inclusion. The…

Whatcha lookin’ at up there?
Photos & Video
6418 views
Photos & Video
6418 views

Whatcha lookin’ at up there?

The Tico Times - October 21, 2017

Reader John Honeyman shared this image of a howler monkey in Santa Teresa, on the Nicoya Peninsula. Thanks, John! Would…