Dengue fever is spreading in Nicaragua



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Dengue fever continues to spread in Nicaragua
02.11.2013

Dengue fever continues to spread in Nicaragua. According to the government, there are eight new cases every hour. This year, 14 deaths have occurred.

Eight new infections every hour
The Central American Nicaragua has been hit by a dengue epidemic for months. The tropical disease continues to spread and at least eight more people would be infected every hour, government spokeswoman Rosario Murillo said on Thursday. Currently, more than a thousand patients would be treated in hospitals for suspected dengue fever. There have been 14 deaths in the country so far this year.

Nearly 100,000 Diseased in Central America According to the most recent survey by the Pan American Health Organization (OPS), more than 94,000 people across Central America are affected. This resulted in at least 27 deaths in Honduras, six in Guatemala and three in El Salvador.

Millions of undetected cases of dengue fever are transmitted mainly by the mosquito Stegomyia aegypti (yellow fever mosquito). The sharp rise in dengue diseases in recent decades has also been linked to the increasing spread of these mosquitoes. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates 50 to 100 million dengue cases per year. But other experts point to a high number of unreported cases. British researchers have published the results of a study in the science journal "Nature", which assume that in 2010 alone there should have been almost 300 million undetected cases worldwide.

Caused by mutation? A few months ago, Nicaraguan scientists made their assumption public that the dengue epidemic in Central America could have been caused by a mutation in the genome of the yellow fever mosquito. This could have led to the mosquitoes becoming much more aggressive and also resistant to conventional insecticides. Dengue fever occurs in more than a hundred tropical and subtropical countries, especially in Southeast Asia, Africa and Central America.

No vaccination against dengue fever Dengue fever manifests itself through symptoms such as fever, itchy rash and severe headache, muscle and joint pain and can lead to death. To date, there is no effective vaccine against dengue viruses. Such a vaccine was introduced last year, but its low effectiveness quickly became known. Another possible prevention that is currently underway in Brazil is very controversial because of the unforeseeable consequences. Genetically modified mosquito males were released there, their offspring quickly perish. (ad)

Image: Sebastian Karkus / pixelio.de

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