Dengue Cases in Santiago de Cuba Reach Disturbing Levels, Especially in Palma Soriano

Fumigation in Camagüey to prevent dengue. (14ymedio/archive)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 29 May 2023 – – The rainy season is just beginning and dengue threatens again. In Santiago de Cuba, the contagion figures are already worrying, as an article published this Saturday in Sierra Maestra warns.

“In recent days the number of medical attentions for non-specific febrile syndrome has increased, as well as reactive cases,” says the article, which also warns, as if it were a war report: “With a high-risk infestation index (0.6) and more than 1,800 foci detected (almost 200 more than at the same stage of the previous cycle), the invincible territory has a high probability of moving towards epidemiological events, if a true popular movement for the prevention of the viral infection is not achieved.”

According to the official newspaper, the municipality of Palma Soriano is the one with the worst panorama, and that is why “entomological control actions” (fumigations) are carried out there in about 4,000 homes.

“It is expected that in the coming weeks suspected cases of dengue will continue to appear,” says the report, which also recognizes that the control of the disease “slows down because the economic difficulties that the country is going through limit the size and scope of anti-vector and other actions aimed at eliminating environmental conditions favorable to the insect.”

As an example of these conditions, Sierra Maestra talks about the “difficulties” in supplying drinking water and eliminating both wastewater and solid garbage, the optimal ecosystem for the reproduction of the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which transmits both dengue and chikungunya.

“The answer to these problems escapes from the actions of Public Health and requires a better performance of Municipal Services and Aguas Santiago (also hit by the scarcity of resources), as well as a greater collaboration of the population, responsible for their health in the first place,” the newspaper says.

And they insist: “If economic conditions have not changed substantially in 2023, you do not have to be an expert to understand that, for the moment, it is impossible to carry out large campaigns.”

Given the possibility that the population does not go to the doctor in a timely manner, as happened in 2022, the provincial newspaper warns of the “danger of staying at home in the face of symptoms such as fever, general malaise and muscle, joint, retrorbital (behind the eyes) and head pain, since dengue can evolve into serious and life-threatening forms.”

Last year, “the most complex of the last 15 years,” in the words of Sierra Maestra, dengue was rampant in several provinces, but especially in Santiago de Cuba, where an incidence rate of 65.2 per 100,000 inhabitants was recorded in November.

The situation was aggravated by the presence of severe or hemorrhagic dengue, which was not alerted by the Ministry of Public Health but by doctors in their personal capacity. “In previous epidemics, perhaps approximately 1% of cases had signs of alarm (those that alert you that the patient is not progressing well), but now it is more than 30%,” a doctor confessed to this newspaper.

The authorities did not give the official death toll at any time, although social networks and the independent press recorded several deaths of health professionals.

Translated by Regina Anavy


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