Costa Rica Confronts Record Dengue Spike

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By LatAm Reports Editor

Costa Rica is grappling with a sharp spike in dengue fever cases, prompting the declaration of a health alert this year. The Health Ministry’s data paints a dire picture, with 9,182 more cases reported this year compared to the entirety of 2022. To date, the country has witnessed 16,667 dengue infections in 2023 alone, a significant jump from the 7,485 cases recorded last year.

The statistics outline a worrying trend: a dramatic climb from the 10,056 cases in 2020, a dip to 5,081 in 2021, and a rise again to 7,485 in 2022, with this year’s figures marking a four-year high.

Even more troubling is the resurgence of severe dengue cases, with five instances reported this year, a situation not seen in the previous year. The National Children’s Hospital has sounded the alarm with seven pediatric hospitalizations due to dengue, all showing severe warning signs.

This surge over the past four months led to a health alert being issued on September 6th. Health officials warn that acute dengue can present with severe abdominal pain, vomiting, dehydration, bleeding, and critically low platelet counts.

This year’s seven child hospitalizations stand in stark contrast to the absence of such cases in 2022. While experts note that most cases are treatable in clinics or health centers, they caution against self-medication and advise those with symptoms to seek prompt medical care.

Health Minister Mary Munive calls for community engagement as a crucial weapon in the fight against dengue. She emphasizes the importance of public cooperation with her ministry to combat the spread effectively.

Munive also highlights the urgency of maintaining vigilance in eradicating mosquito breeding grounds and teaching children preventive practices. As Costa Rica confronts this escalating health crisis, the public is reminded to stay vigilant and adhere strictly to prevention guidelines to help stem the tide of rising dengue cases.