July 23, 2007

Honduras dengue epidemic continues

Brazilian and Indian dengue cartoons

Latest reports from the Honduran government state the current official count of classic dengue fever cases is 7,715, an increase of almost 1,700 cases since the previous week. New cases of the classic strains had been averaging about 1,000 per week previously.

Confirmed cases of the potential fatal dengue hemorragico increased a staggering 100 to a total of 397, and the death toll increased by one to a total of six fatalities.

La Prensa reported: "The reported numbers contradict the version of the authorities
, who have said the epidemic "has stabilized." In spite of the statistics, the Secretary of Health has refused to increase the level of alert that was declared weeks ago."

In an article in the weekly Ceibeño section of La Prensa, it was noted that the "Asian Tiger" mosquito, Aedes albopictus, was first noted in the La Ceiba area in the first months of 2006. It is considered more aggressive, more epidemic, more tolerant of low temperatures, harder to control, less likely to be eliminated, and is gradually replacing the Aedes egypti mosquito.

No numbers for the La Ceiba area or the departmento (state) of Atlantida have been reported in any of La Prensa's dengue articles. This article, however, makes the vague comment that "the cases of dengue have been controlled in Atlantida as a result of the awareness of the people."

I hope that is true. We don't know anyone who has had dengue recently.

For more information about dengue in Honduras and photos of the Aedes mosquito, see this previous article.

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