An Outbreak of a Rare Strain of Dengue Virus Is Spreading in Cuba

Dec 10, 2018

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Cuban authorities have detected a deadly strain of the dengue virus spreading throughout the Caribbean island nation. The specific type of dengue has not been detected on Cuba since 1977.

Dengue is a virus transmitted by mosquitoes, mostly by the common Aedes Aegypti mosquito, the same carrier of Zika, yellow fever and chikungunya. Residents and tourists visiting the island should be sure to wear a potent mosquito repellent to prevent mosquito bites. Authorities are reportedly spraying for mosquitoes more frequently since the dengue outbreak began.

Symptoms of dengue include fever, vomiting, headaches, abdominal pains and bleeding.  Officials say anyone experiencing these symptoms should seek medical treatment. Special medical clinics have been created to treat the influx of patients with dengue.

“A new epidemic of dengue has broken out, causing alarm and clinical developments, but luckily we have not had to mourn the loss of life up until now,” Salvador Tamayo Muniz, health director of Cuba’s south-central state Cienfuegos, told local leaders, according to newspaper Cinco de Septiembre.

There are four strains of the virus that causes dengue, and all of them have been detected in Cuba, the newspaper said. In the 1977 outbreak, when one of these strains was last detected, about 500,000 people were infected.

H/T: Miami Herald

Featured image by Marka/UIG via Getty Images.

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