Dengue Zika Chikungunya Cuba
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    Increase of Dengue in Cuba / Rosa María Rodríguez Torrado
    Rosa María Rodríguez Torrado, Translator: M. Ouellette

    Participants of an anti-insect fumigation brigade from the Cuban public
    health system commented on November 3rd that there is an elevated number
    of cases of dengue in the Havana municipality of La Habana del Este.

    Calling our attention is the recent increase of this acute viral illness
    — transmitted by the female aedes aegypti mosquito — and the official
    silence on the subject, explained by the overused pretext of not
    alarming the public, but with the result of disinforming society about
    topics of fundamental interest. Due to public service announcements on
    national television and the intensity in calls by health workers to
    eliminate the possible focus — reproduction springs and breeding grounds
    — already there is popular distrust, "he has read straightness in the
    twisted lines," and suspicion of the increase in cases for this pandemic
    in our country. They further mention that the reported patients are
    being attended to in their houses for the number of infected people and
    the people's distrust of being admitted to the hospital, given their
    substandard hygienic/sanitary conditions. This illness, that the aedes
    albopictus also spreads, is known as "bone breaking" and produces fever,
    headaches, and aching joints; it lasts approximately a week and can lead
    to death. The increasing incidence of outbreaks has also been detected
    in other capital area municipalities like Arroyo Naranjo, Old Havana,
    Central Havana, and Diez de Octubre, but for the lack of informative
    transparency we do not know the rates of dengue in the rest of the nation.

    The causes of the proliferation of this transmitter fundamentally stem
    from entrance areas, the lack of water in many households, and the
    shortage of places to store it. In zones lacking daily supplies of this
    vital liquid, inhabitants are obliged to store it in 55-gallon tanks
    with improvised caps that do not close properly and facilitate the
    entrance of these insects which then consequently start reproduction.
    This is brought about by people arriving in our country with the
    sickness, which then encounters adequate conditions for its propagation.
    The state sells plastic tanks in convertible currency and at exorbitant
    prices in hard currency stores that are not within reach of the average

    Many distrust the magnitude of the problem and the fact that they are
    asking citizens to open their doors to the fumigators without
    hesitating. Secrecy by the authorities in almost all levels of national
    life is traditional practice and secrecy concerning dengue is no
    exception. It is taking place just as we arrive at the high tourist
    season in Cuba.

    Translated by: M. Ouellette

    November 8 2011

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