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Nicaragua mobilizes fumigation against dengue

November 1, 2013

MANAGUA, Nicaragua (AP) — Hundreds of health workers spread across Nicaragua’s capital this week to fumigate every home against a mosquito that spreads dengue. They were also on the lookout for people infected with the sometimes deadly disease.

The government ordered city workers to squirt insecticide over puddles on streets and to spread insecticide inside each home in Managua, authorities said Thursday.

Officials also deployed health workers throughout Nicaragua to identify people sick with dengue and move them to health care facilities and to educate communities about dengue prevention.

Most of Nicaragua’s 5,400 dengue cases, including 14 deaths, are concentrated on the border with Honduras. Honduras has reported nearly 18,000 cases so far, compared with 15,000 for all of 2012.

Central America is on track to have one of its worst years ever for dengue.

The disease is a leading cause of illness and death in the tropics and subtropics, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control says. The virus-transmitting aedes aegypti mosquitoes are found in dense population areas where a combination of people and standing water allow them to breed and thrive.

There is no vaccine or cure for dengue. Treatment can mirror that for standard flu symptoms or can be more extensive for patients who have to be hospitalized. People contracting the most severe type, hemorrhagic dengue, can experience severe pain, breathing difficulties, bleeding and even circulatory failure.

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