Nicaragua is on an epidemiological alert due to the excessive increase in cases of Dengue which continues to worsen despite the fact that the worst of the rainy has not yet arrived.

According to the latest Epidemiological Bulletin by Minsa (Ministry of Health) up to the week of August 18, there have been 3.552 (a 372% increase of the same period in 2018) cases confirmed, of which some 10% correspond to severe dengue – which could cause death.

The most recent cases of death due to dengue reported Minsa was a 7-year-old this weekend, the week before (August 23), two children 5 and 9 became victims.

The total deaths to Dengue for the year is 15, of which 12 are under the age of 15, according to Minsa.

Dengue and severe dengue

Key facts (from the World Health Organization)

  • Dengue is a mosquito-borne viral infection.
  • The infection causes flu-like illness, and occasionally develops into a potentially lethal complication called severe dengue.
  • The global incidence of dengue has grown dramatically in recent decades. About half of the world’s population is now at risk.
  • Dengue is found in tropical and sub-tropical climates worldwide, mostly in urban and semi-urban areas.
  • Severe dengue is a leading cause of serious illness and death among children in some Asian and Latin American countries.
  • There is no specific treatment for dengue/ severe dengue, but early detection and access to proper medical care lowers fatality rates below 1%.
  • Dengue prevention and control depends on effective vector control measures.

There is no specific treatment for dengue fever. For severe dengue, medical care by physicians and nurses experienced with the effects and progression of the disease can save lives – decreasing mortality rates from more than 20% to less than 1%. Maintenance of the patient’s body fluid volume is critical to severe dengue care.

Prevention and control

Fumigation is one of the many preventive measures to control the spread of Dengue

At present, the main method to control or prevent the transmission of dengue virus is to combat vector mosquitoes through:

  • preventing mosquitoes from accessing egg-laying habitats by environmental management and modification;
  • disposing of solid waste properly and removing artificial man-made habitats;
    covering, emptying and cleaning of domestic water storage containers on a weekly basis;
    applying appropriate insecticides to water storage outdoor containers;
  • using of personal household protection measures, such as window screens, long-sleeved clothes, repellents, insecticide treated materials, coils and vaporizers (These measures have to be observed during the day both at home and place of work since the mosquito bites during the day);
  • improving community participation and mobilization for sustained vector control;
    applying insecticides as space spraying during outbreaks as one of the emergency vector-control measures;
  • active monitoring and surveillance of vectors should be carried out to determine effectiveness of control interventions.

Careful clinical detection and management of dengue patients can significantly reduce mortality rates from severe dengue.

For more facts on Dengue click here.