Unique Dengue Disease Outbreak Heads North
For the first time since 2000, all four types of Dengue virus have been detected simultaneously in the Republic of Costa Rica.
And according to recent data, over 580 Dengue cases have been reported in 2023, a significant increase from 2022.
On May 4, 2023, Costa Rica's Ministry of Health announced the Integrated Vector Control Management Program would carry out various interventions after the confirmation of the four Dengue serotypes in the canton of Sarapaquí.
Specifically, in the towns of Puerto Viejo, La Guaria, Palmitas, Tucán, Rojo Maca, and Esquinas, three cycles of fumigation with ultra-low volume machines and house-to-house visits to treat and eliminate disease-carrying mosquito breeding sites.
And conduct Dengue research and epidemiological surveillance to avoid outbreaks and safeguard the population's health.
Thirty-six officials from the Chorotega Region, the Central Pacific, the North Central Region, the Sarapaquí Health Governing Area, and the Central Level will participate during these interventions.
While Dengue is endemic in many South American countries, the recent increase in cases in Central America could be related to climate change.
A study published by the Royal Society indicated that Dengue-carrying mosquitoes are expanding their range and have moved polewards by 4.7 km annually.
In the U.S., Dengue became a nationally notifiable condition in 2010.
And in 2023, most Dengue cases have related to international travel, except in southern Florida.
During 2022 and 2023, the Miami-Dade area reported locally-acquired Dengue.
The U.S. CDC says Dengue is a vaccine-preventable disease, but access to vaccines is very limited in the U.S.
Furthermore, international visitors to Costa Rica may be exposed to several infectious diseases, and depending on their travel origination, yellow fever vaccination may be required.