Puerto Vallarta municipality particularly affected
Dengue Fever, a mosquito borne tropical illness which plagues many regions of the world, is a chronic problem in those Mexican states with a coastline.
In 2012, diagnosed cases in Yucatán rose almost 300% from the year before. Dengue fever roars on in Yucatán and all of Mexico. But last year the state made great strides in combating conditions which give rise to the illness, and the effort paid off. Dengue Fever still claims lives in Mérida, but far fewer (Jan, 4, 2014). This year Jalisco is in the bullseye.
The Jalisco secretary of health reports that 143 cases of dengue have been diagnosed since Jan. 1, putting the state in third place nationwide for confirmed instances of the illness. What has officials more worried is that 44 of the cases were of the hemorrhagic type, by far the most serious version and one that can lead to death if not treated promptly and aggressively. They note the year has barely begun, and the rainy season is months away. All of Mexico's 32 jurisdictions report dengue statistics.
Victims of hemorrhagic dengue are frequently those who have already experienced the simple or "classic" version of the illness, although perhaps without realizing it. Dengue symptoms tend to be non-specific - fever, headache and muscle and joint discomfort. A rash may be present on areas of the body, but the presence of dengue can only be confirmed by blood tests. As many as 80% of those infected may be asymptomatic, while others affected present with only the mildest symptoms.
There is no vaccine against Dengue Fever. Treatment of a diagnosed patient is primarily palliative.
Not surprisingly, health officials said the municipality (county) of Puerto Vallarta has reported many cases, but metro Guadalajara has not been spared either. As always, they urge a two-fold strategy: the maintenance of rubbish free properties, and the elimination of stagnant water. Both are a breeding ground for the transmitter.
Mar. 3 - In a six day period in February, 15 new cases of dengue were diagnosed in Jalisco.
Mar. 17 - Between Mar. 2 and Mar. 8, state authorities reported 16 new cases, including 14 of the classic type (minimal symptoms) and two of the severe hemorrhagic type, which sometimes is fatal. Since Jan. 1 197 cases have been officially diagnosed, 145 of the classic type and 52 hemorrhagic.
In a press release Jalisco Public Health director Jorge Blackaller Ayala again emphasized, "We have to be aware of receptacles which may retain water, and thereby turn into an insect breeding ground. Either cover or get rid of such things."
Mar. 16 - Mexican public health expert warns of national Dengue outbreak
Apr. 6, 2011 - An interesting account of one traveler's experience with dengue while in Paraguay, describing symptoms.
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