Dengue emergency declared in Colombian city

February 7th, 2010 - 12:01 pm ICT by IANS  

Bogota, Feb 7 (IANS/EFE) The deaths of four children and an adult from hemorrhagic dengue so far this year has led authorities of the southwestern Colombian city of Cali to declare a health emergency, an official said.
Municipal Health Secretary Alejandro Varela made the state-of-emergency announcement after saying that, between January and February, 718 suspected and symptomatic cases of dengue were attended at the city’s public and private medical centres.

Of those, 111 cases have been confirmed by means of diagnostic tests, Varela said. Those who died were a 24-year-old patient and four children.

The official made an “urgent” call in the local daily El Pais asking parents “to take their children to emergency services whenever they get a high fever”.

“The problem of dengue in the city is of supreme concern to the Public Health Secretariat. The epidemiologists’ report shows that those who died became sick inside their homes, so it is essential that the community comply with and immediately put into practice the recommended preventive measures,” Varela said.

Authorities carried out fumigations in the different neighbourhoods of Cali, capital of the province of Valle del Cauca, to keep the dengue from spreading.

“We’re taking the necessary measures to help mitigate the proliferation of the dengue-carrier mosquito. Educational and operational actions are being stepped up,” Cali’s Mayor Jorge Ivan Ospina said.

Dengue, a serious viral disease transmitted by the Aedes Aegypti mosquito, is characterised by high fever, intense headaches, muscle pain, gastro-intestinal problems and rashes.

Hemorrhagic dengue, in addition to having symptoms associated with dengue, like fever, headaches and joint pain, can also produce internal bleeding.

–IANS/EFE

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