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Saturday, April 01, 2006 

Saturday 1 April 2006

Hundreds of cases of dengue per week

ARUBA – More than 1400 people have dengue at this moment, which is less than the 1600 cases that the Public Health Administration had stated early this month. Nevertheless, there are still hundreds of people registered with dengue every week. The number of breeding places of the Aedes Aegyptii mosquito that spreads the dengue virus is increasing again and makes the fight against dengue a losing battle.

Even though nothing was published or mentioned about dengue lately, the virus has been spreading steadily in the past weeks. Even though the weather is no longer wet, the sporadic showers cause another swarm of mosquitoes that spread the dengue virus.

The Public Health Administration announced yesterday that in the first 11 weeks of this year, about 3000 people had the dengue virus, based on the symptoms. The last time this institute announced the number of dengue cases (1642) was on February 1st.

The Caribbean Epidemiology Centre (Carec) indicated that by mow there are two serotypes of dengue in Aruba, one and two. Carec says that this makes the residents of Aruba extra vulnerable. Anybody that was ever infected with a certain serotype, and later gets infected with another type, has the chance to get the dangerous haemorrhage dengue, which can be deadly. There is currently one case of haemorrhage dengue detected and the patient is being treated in the hospital. Most of the cases of dengue in Oranjestad, San Nicolas, Noord, Savaneta, and Paradera are registered. The Public Health Administration last announced that the majority of dengue patients are from San Nicolas and surroundings.

The Yellow Fever Mosquito Control (GKMB) has noticed that the number of breeding places of the Aedes Aegyptii-mosquito is increasing again. The number of houses where breeding places are found are still higher than the international allowable standard. The number of breeding places dropped in February, but the GKMB noticed a slight increase since March. It is obvious that the number of breeding places increases after rainfall.

The Public Health Administration conducted a campaign to show the residents how to get rid of breeding places. The plan was to have volunteers visit 33.000 houses and talk to the residents during the campaign, but only a few dozen volunteers showed up for this. The Public Health Administration had to change the plan and just hand out brochures in Oranjestad, Noord, Tanki Flip, Tanki Leendert, Santa Cruz, Simeon Antonio, Pos Chiquito, Savaneta, Brazil en San Nicolas. The employees of the GKMB found most of the breeding places in these neighborhoods.

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