Cuban health authorities intensify campaign against Dengue fever.
Havana, Cuba September 2006 - Cuban authorities have intensified their campaign against dengue fever, sending military planes to fumigate streets, buildings and rooftops in the capital and going door-to-door to spray against mosquitoes potentially carrying the disease.
They have remained silent, however, on the number of victims of the disease. Community watch groups are telling Cubans there is an epidemic and the number of people infected is growing.
A full-blown epidemic in Cuba in 1981 left 158 people dead. "There has been a serious effort across the country ... to avoid the infestation of the mosquito, which is the transmitting agent of the disease," Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque told The Associated Press in New York, declining to provide more details.
Vice-President Carlos Lage told public health workers that their top priority is to “decrease infection". Cuban workers fumigate homes several times a week, as inspectors check out water tanks where the mosquitoes reproduce. Anyone who denies them access can be fined.
Dengue, a disease found in tropical and subtropical regions, causes severe joint pain, high fever, nausea and a rash. In severe cases, it causes internal bleeding and leads to death. The virus is most commonly spread by mosquitoes that have contracted it after biting infected humans.
• Revisando la prensa.
• Dengue en Cuba 2006.