The Costa Rica News (TCRN) – The number of dengue cases in Costa Rica decreased by 65.6% in the first month of 2014 compared to the same period of 2013, health authorities announced today.

According to the Ministry of Health, between January 1 and 25, 791 sick people were registered with the dengue virus, 65.6% less than the 2,299 affected in the same period of 2013.

The only region of Costa Rica having an increase in cases is the southern region, where they increased by 146% compared to the first month of 2013, which caused an alarm for the authorities to strengthen measures to combat dengue in the area.

“In the Brunca (south) region there are interborder agreements and within those we considered the possibility of working together with Panama,” said the Minister of Health, Daisy Corrales.

She added that this year the border with Panama has “priority” due to the increase of cases in both countries and that is why they are “working hard, watching and monitoring.”

The Ministry of Health has also signed an agreement with the companies Del Monte and Bayer to certify 35 banana plantations in the province of Limón (Caribbean), as areas of “zero dengue.”

The agreement is to provide training to members of environmental commissions for selected farms to identify critical points that must be corrected for the proliferation of the mosquito induced virus.

In 2013, Costa Rica closed with a record number of 49,993 cases of dengue, 151 of them seriously, and also recorded one death.

This figure exceeded that of 2005 when a total of 37,789 were counted and until last year, was the largest number of cases.

Data from the Ministry of Health indicate that last year they invested about $6.5 million in preventive campaigns and actions against dengue across the country.

This virus, transmitted by the mosquito “Aedes aegypti” appeared in Costa Rica in 1993 and since then has killed 23 people. In 2007 there were more deaths, with a total of 8.

The mosquito breeds in stagnant water, especially during the rainy season (May to November), although the disease is usually present throughout the year. (ACAN-EFE)

The Costa Rica News (TCRN)

San Jose Costa Rica