Cuba fights rising Dengue and Zika infestations

HAVANA, June 4th In Holguin an epidemic of dengue and zika viruses are on the rise, with the highest infestation rate by Aedes mosquitoes the country has witnessed in years.

Dr. Eduardo Michel Serrano, municipal director of Cuba’s Hygiene and Epidemiology Center, stated that the zika virus is spreading in six departments, while the dengue has appeared in two.

The infected sectors, known as foci, have increased with the rising infestation of mosquitoes by 1.23 percent where normal measurements linger around .09 percent. Foci in the Alex Urquiola area, particularly Ramon Quintana and Santiesteban, have witnessed the highest growth within three years with an increase of 13.83 percent.

“We are spending immense amounts of money and material and human resources that could be used in other battles of the economy, other battles of health, culture, sport, trade and construction,” said Luis Antonio Torres Iribar, secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party, of the cost of the government’s attempts to lower the infestation rates.

Up until April of this year, Brazil was in a state of emergency due to the Zika virus and adopted a number of initiatives to fight the epidemic. Some of these included sterilizing male mosquitos with gamma rays as well as spraying pesticide in infected areas.

According to a recent lab study in London, those infected with the dengue are then more susceptible to the Zika. Additionally, where the dengue is concerned, prior exposure to the disease only makes those infected more vulnerable to the disease with more severe symptoms.

The disease is most commonly spread by Aedes Aegypti mosquito, but can also be transmitted through contact with blood or bodily fluid of a person infected by the virus. There are four types of dengue virus, which may develop into the most life-threatening version known as “severe dengue”.

The U.S. National Library of Medicine reports that the dengue virus is the most prevalent arthropod-borne viral disease in the tropical and subtropical countries. The Pan American Health Organization stated that by February of 2016, there were already 187 confirmed cases of the zika virus and 1,836 cases of dengue.

Neither of the two viruses have vaccines or medicines and doctors advise those infected to get plenty of rest and refrain from using aspirin or any other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug.