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    El Niño Saves Guanacaste From Having a Terrible 2014 Dengue Season

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    The Costa Rica News (TCRN) – El Niño and the chikungunya virus are responsible for a substantial decrease in dengue cases this year around Guanacaste.

    As explained by the Director of Health Surveillance, Dr. Mary Ethel Trejos, “This year we are experiencing the El Niño phenomenon and there has been a major drought in Guanacaste. This helps in Chorotegan region because there has been very little rain and very high temperatures which are not conducive to mosquitoes,” she explained.

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    Last year, the Chorotegan area recorded the highest number of dengue cases, reaching 9,123, whereas so far in 2014, only 588 people were reported sick.

    But this phenomenon is also affecting other areas, since according to Dr. Trejos hot mornings and rainy afternoons create conditions that make it easy for mosquitoes to reproduce.

    She also added that another possible reason for the reduction in cases is that the country is circulating the same virus as last year.

    “Many people had dengue last year, so this year if it’s the same virus that is circulating in the community there will be fewer new infections since the antibodies are already in place. Another reason is that since the outbreak last year they have been working very hard in all communities to eliminate breeding sites, especially with the introduction of the chikungunya virus into the country.”

    So far this year, and a total of 7,561 sick people have recorded, which is a significant reduction compared to October 2013, because there had been 36,135 cases of dengue.

    The Costa Rica News (TCRN)

    San Jose, Costa Rica

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