Jump to content


Photo

Dengue Becoming A Public Health Emergency


  • Please log in to reply
31 replies to this topic

#1 fishinisfun45

fishinisfun45

    Banned

  • Banned
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 918 posts

Posted 08 February 2012 - 10:29 AM

Official reported Dengue cases have been rising to troubling levels again, with 82% of reported patients having the serious Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever (DHF) symptoms.** This means that the months of mosquito spraying did not work, and that we need to return to the proven Dengue control methods of eliminating Aedes Aegypti breeding grounds.

Aedes Aegypti (the "Dengue mosquito") breed in as little as 1 tablespoon of fresh water that persists for a week.

Be sure to take precautions against being bitten by Aedes Aegypti mosquitoes:
~ Wear long pants and socks or use repellents on lower legs and feet to inhibit biting, and
~ Clean up our yards and homes to remove mosquito breeding grounds.


We have experienced the worst 2 seasons of Dengue infections last year and this year, because the government stopped programs that eliminate mosquito breeding grounds in and around our homes. Aedes Aegypti is an urban mosquito that loves pooled fresh rain water - so, the best way to eliminate Dengue risks is to remove the Aedes Aegypti breeding grounds:
~ Eliminate brush piles,
~ Drill holes in flower pots,
~ Get rid of plastic waste that traps even small amounts of water,
~ Get rid of old tires,
~ Treat swimming pools and fish ponds.

It really is up to us. Read Yucatan Livings article for lots of details on Dengue and check out the summary information in Yucalandia's fact sheet: Everything About Dengue Fever ... and ... Dengue Fact Sheet – Nov. 2011 Update



#2 fishinisfun45

fishinisfun45

    Banned

  • Banned
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 918 posts

Posted 08 February 2012 - 10:32 AM

**The February 8, 2012 Diario de Yucatan reports: (Google Translation)

"Dengue Alarm
In the previous two weeks, the incidence increased 117% in Yucatan

The number of dengue cases in Yucatan increased by 117 percent in the last 15 days, from 218 patients confirmed the 474 January 22 to February 5. Of this, 178 are of dengue hemorrhagic fever, 101 cases more than two weeks ago, representing an average growth of 6.7 cases per day, according to the latest report of the Special System of Epidemiological Surveillance of Dengue, the Federal Ministry of Health.

The report, issued last Monday, confirms the alarming progress of the disease in Yucatan, which places the state in a health emergency.

In early February 2011 dengue fever patients were 27 and those of bleeding, 6. Compared these figures with those of the first week of February 2012, the overall increase in dengue cases in Yucatan is 1.336% in 12 months.

State officials insist that the main cause of increased cases of dengue are not the alleged deficiencies in the official strategy against mosquito citizen apathy but to collaborate on tasks aimed at prevention, such as cleaning the places where the (Aedes Aegypti mosquitos) reproduce.
"

#3 whazzoo

whazzoo

    Genius naturally

  • Supporters
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,049 posts

Posted 08 February 2012 - 11:07 AM

~ Get rid of plastic waste that traps even small amounts of water,
~ Get rid of old tires,


Steve, therein lies the issue, visit any vacant lot in Merida or any of the beach towns and you will see plastic trash and other things that hold standing water. Until the Government does something to reduce the throwing of trash in vacant lots, the mosquitoes will continue to breed and multiply. If the Government was to take the garbage issue seriously, there would be a large decline in vector born diseases.

Whazzoo

Aerocretos de Mexico, S. de R.L. de C.V.

General Contractors

999-273-0840 www.aerocretosdemexico.com 999-955-0503

 

 


#4 Senora-Inquisidora

Senora-Inquisidora

    Advanced Member

  • Supporters
  • PipPipPip
  • 157 posts

Posted 08 February 2012 - 11:53 AM

The mosquito's are a big problem for me this year. For the last 8 years I really never had an issue with insect bites. Never have I received so many bites as I have in the last month. I'm using a product called "Fly Out", but today I am looking for something stronger to repel these monsters. I use a mosquito net when sleeping and tuck it in under the mattress at night.

For those of you coming to Merida, I recommend you bring long pants and lightweight long sleeve shirts. Don't forget to cover your feet. They will take a chunk out of your toes. And just forget about perfumed toiletries.

I have friends who have had dengue and it is no joke. It's the last little present I want to receive this trip. If you all have any tips on what repellants work best, bring it on!

XXOO
S.I.

#5

  • Guests

Posted 08 February 2012 - 11:55 AM

Until the Government does something to reduce the throwing of trash in vacant lots, the mosquitoes will continue to breed and multiply. If the Government was to take the garbage issue seriously, there would be a large decline in vector born diseases.

Whazzoo


Agreed, with a caveat.

The problem of trash being thrown in vacant lots is pretty much beyond the control of any level of government as long as it costs something to have the trash hauled away. People without disposable income do not have cash to pay for trash collection, if even available in their comisario or colonia. People with disposible income are often just too damn cheap to pay to have it hauled away. What to do -- fine owners of lots where trash is being thrown for the trash not belonging at one point to those owners? (Granted, unattended lots, where trash is never collected, tend to attract more trash from those with no civic pride.)

Or, those who would want it collected, perhaps in the expat community, do not know who to hire or pay to have it hauled, or to be sure that it is actually hauled to an official trash collection site. How many of us have trash that Servilimpia, etc., in Merida, just will not haul, not even for the customary curbside $$ considerations? How does one haul old tires, partial hardened bags of cement, major tree trimmed branches, etc.? Even if we had a pickup, which most of us do not have, where would we haul it? For small stuff, at least in Mérida, there is trash collection, not always available on the beach or in the small towns.

#6 fishinisfun45

fishinisfun45

    Banned

  • Banned
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 918 posts

Posted 08 February 2012 - 12:12 PM

Interesting view.

Is it best to complain about things; or wait for the government to do something; or is it better to take some personal action to protect our family's health?

I do not advocate hopping walls or climbing fences, but there are ways to get a lot cleaned. Contact the owner. For example, we've found gringo homes of absent or inattentive snowbirds with pools, fountains, and water features are very common mosquito breeding grounds. Even when drained, they accumulate rain water, and turn into mosquito breeding grounds that remain untreated until just before the snowbirds return. In this case, watch the property to get the owner's contact info or the property manager's contact info. Once notified, absent landlords typically authorize $$ to clean up trash or treat standing water.

For vacant lots: The Merida government has rules that vacant lots must be kept cleaned, or 1) the government cleans the land and sends a bill or 2) the govt. confiscates the land. Contact the government to report the problem. For Merida: Merida City Government Page to Report Problems .

This page includes options to report potholes, problems with trash accumulation, etc.

Specifically, the web path is: www.merida.gob.mx - In the Accesos Directos box, Choose tramites y servicios - Choose atencion ciudadana - on the next page find Acerca del Servicioand Choose: "Reporta Aqui" - use the next page to fill in the type of problem.

e.g. if you have a street drain that is not draining or has water from a leaking JAPAY line: choose desazolve de zanja con rejilla

You enter the detailed information on the address where the problem is located and the personal information on the person who is making the report.

#7 CasiYucateco

CasiYucateco

    Veteran

  • Moderators
  • 3,067 posts

Posted 08 February 2012 - 09:31 PM

Fishin is right about this being a real problem.

One of the albañiles who regularly works for me came down with Dengue in December. He laughs it off now, but we were worried about him out in the little pueblo near Motul without a car. Or screens or access to much medicine, etc. We went out of our way to help the family as much as we could.

Another issue is the additional rain and humidity that's been higher than usual for this time of the year. (of course, "usual" is changing around the world). We've cut back vegetation in the garden and pour a little chlorox into house drains, toilet tanks, shower drains, etc, to help keep any breeding down. And check the roof regularly to see if there are blockages in drains up there too, which might let water gather.

I've had good luck lately with Neem products warding off mosquito bites, but there is no question that there are more mosquitoes right now. Visitors, part-time dwellers and residents all need to use repellents, particularly on feet, ankles and lower legs. Dengue mosquitoes tend to bite low and sneak up on you when you think they're not around (inside, in the bathroom, etc). I keep having occasional bites, but do all I can to keep the number low.

While we are at it, pets could use some protection from the mosquitoes too and ticks seem to be in greater abundance.
{ Banner Free since 1978 }

#8 annetteghallowell

annetteghallowell

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 79 posts

Posted 09 February 2012 - 09:24 AM

I have been hearing about Neem products for mosquitoes. Do you use Neem Oil or something else?



I've had good luck lately with Neem products warding off mosquito bites, but there is no question that there are more mosquitoes right now.

Now that I am on the search for Neem products, I came across this link about natural mosquito repellants.

My link

Are essentials oils easy to find in Merida? I had planned to stock up on my "essentials" of tea tree and lavender oils, but if they are available in Merida, I will save those for shopping adventures to come.

#9 CasiYucateco

CasiYucateco

    Veteran

  • Moderators
  • 3,067 posts

Posted 09 February 2012 - 10:45 PM

They sell a Neem cream for repelling insects at the Merida English Library as well as at a little "naturals" store at the strip center on the NW corner of Reforma y Colon, where the CFE office is, but around the back side by Platos Rotos restaurant. I bought mine at the naturals store.

I don't know about essential oils.
{ Banner Free since 1978 }

#10 YolistoKhaki

YolistoKhaki

    Veteran

  • Administrators
  • 3,091 posts

Posted 13 February 2012 - 01:48 AM

Steve, therein lies the issue, visit any vacant lot in Merida or any of the beach towns and you will see plastic trash and other things that hold standing water.


I read several local newspapers from around the state and have been also reading the comments at the bottom of some of the articles. Some of the people are asking what good it does for them to clean their property when there are abandoned houses throughout the neighborhoods, some with swimming pools full of junk (old hot water heaters, construction trash, rusted equipment, etc. In Merida, there's a number people can call to report those kinds of situations (see fishin's post above) - but what about people in other areas? Are they just stuck with it (and the dengue that is sure to follow)?

#11 CasiYucateco

CasiYucateco

    Veteran

  • Moderators
  • 3,067 posts

Posted 13 February 2012 - 02:08 AM

Every little bit that is cleaned up helps.
Even a small area of water can hatch thousands or millions of mosquitoes.
Steve will probably come in and say that the mosquitoes that transmit Dengue do not travel far. Or at least that's what I understand.

It is a numbers game: the more mosquitoes that exist, the higher the chance that one will bite an infected person and then bite you just the exact amount of time later in order to transmit Dengue.

Since the mosquitoes do not travel far, it is best to clean up all the area under your control - your yard - and your influence - your neighbor's yards, if you can. That doesn't help so much when you leave your home and run around town, but everyone needs to do what they can.

That's my opinion. I'm curious what Steve can add to Khaki's question. It is a bad problem this year. The rains haven't helped. (normally drier this time of year) And the fact that so many of the poor have no screens makes it worse.
{ Banner Free since 1978 }

#12 CoyoteMan

CoyoteMan

    Super Advanced

  • Supporters
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 482 posts

Posted 13 February 2012 - 07:53 AM

For 250 years Merida was well known as a place to be avoided because the same mosquito carried another disease, yellow fever. Some of the most famous studies of the disease were carried out in Yucatan because of the prevalence of the disease. Fear of yellow fever (along with the Caste War/Mexican Revolution) was a major factor why tourism took so long to develop in Yucatan.

It is only a matter of time before someone writes an exposé about dengue in Yucatan or some official in Mexico City will make some kind of official proclamation and it will be H1N1 all over again.

On the plus side (if you can call it that), dengue is creeping into the United States (as yellow fever ran through New Orleans and other southern ports a century ago) and this will bring more funding for research to eventually find a vaccine. Until one is found, authorities will have only one way available to them to bring the disease under control (the same way they stopped yellow fever one hundred years ago) and that is by vector control -- kill mosquitos and don't let them breed.

-- Josh

________________________

Available only in Yucatán:
The Man Who Owned a Wonder of the World: The True History of Mexico's Chichén Itzá (abridged edition)
By Evan J. Albright
A Pickwick Book, from Bohlin Carr Inc.


#13 fishinisfun45

fishinisfun45

    Banned

  • Banned
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 918 posts

Posted 13 February 2012 - 09:35 AM

Every little bit that is cleaned up helps.
Even a small area of water can hatch thousands or millions of mosquitoes.
Steve will probably come in and say that the mosquitoes that transmit Dengue do not travel far. Or at least that's what I understand.

It is a numbers game: the more mosquitoes that exist, the higher the chance that one will bite an infected person and then bite you just the exact amount of time later in order to transmit Dengue.

Since the mosquitoes do not travel far, it is best to clean up all the area under your control - your yard - and your influence - your neighbor's yards, if you can. That doesn't help so much when you leave your home and run around town, but everyone needs to do what they can.

That's my opinion. I'm curious what Steve can add to Khaki's question. It is a bad problem this year. The rains haven't helped. (normally drier this time of year) And the fact that so many of the poor have no screens makes it worse.


In urban environments, female Aedes Aegypti mosquitoes typically travel only 50 meters or so - traveling between adjacent homes to find blood meals (victims), then to find water for breeding. In open rural settings, where buildings are far apart, there are reports of them flying up to 500 meters.

I wish I had more to add to Khaki's question. CY is on the right track, and Josh is exactly right: It took aggressive policing actions by the government to end Yellow Fever - where special Health Police would forcibly enter people's homes in the South (like Tennessee & New Orleans) to inspect and eliminate standing water.

If enough of us continue to call Ayuntatel - phone 924-4000 in Merida, requesting help with cleaning up mosquito breeding grounds on neighbors' properties, the Ayuntamiento will likely succumb to public pressure and re-instate and re-fund the mosquito breeding ground abatement program(s). Our current outbreaks have occurred on the heels of the government stopping funding to abatement programs and instead funding research programs of newly hired post-doctoral scientists counting mosquito eggs.

Our knowledge of Aedes Aegypti mosquitoes and Dengue continue to expand:
In a quirk of fate, scientists have now found Aedes Aegypti male mosquitoes with Dengue virus.
This is troubling, because males only feed on plant sap and sugary nectar. The only known way that male Aedes Aegypti mosquitoes could get Dengue virus is for it to be transmitted through the egg stage and larvae stage FROM THE MOTHER... Since not that many male mosquitoes have been found with Dengue virus, the exact transmission mechanism is not known, and we hope that the direct transfer from mother mosquito to progeny is an unusual event.

Anyway, Josh is right, if the citizens and government do not take concerted actions to eliminate mosquito breeding grounds, Dengue may become a scourge for tourism in Yucatan.
Dr. Steven Fry

#14 CasiYucateco

CasiYucateco

    Veteran

  • Moderators
  • 3,067 posts

Posted 13 February 2012 - 09:34 PM

Just to add a slightly positive note ( ? ), in a number of early accounts, Merida was a preferred location for postings over Campeche. If you've been there, you can see that Campeche is on the down side of a bluff facing west. The prevailing winds are from the east. Therefore, Campeche was in a calm spot even when the wind was blowing. It was described variously as "languid, salacious, feverous, sodden and close." People reported that Merida, in contrast, had "fresh air" and fewer mosquitoes.

Since what Josh wrote is perfectly true and Merida had terrible bouts of Yellow Fever, you can imagine how lovely Campeche was in those days.

Colonists were expected to go through "seasoning" and "becoming seasoned" was reported in official documents and reports back to Spain, England, etc. "Seasoning" was surviving various mosquito-borne illnesses like malaria, Yellow fever, Dengue, etc. Those who did "become seasoned" either had stronger immunities or developed some resistance. Fewer than 2 in 10 Europeans survived, sometimes much lower percentages.

Charles Mann has a good discussion of how mosquito-borne illnesses shaped the New World in 1493, his new book. How many realize that malaria likely came to the Americas from Europe? A particular fever was described by Colon (Columbus) during his four voyages: "all my people went ashore to settle, and everyone realized it rained a lot. They became gravely ill from ciciones."

Researchers today believe that ciciones - an obscure term referring to "a fever with the deepest penetrating cold" - was malaria.

The English word malaria comes from the Italian mal aria - evil or bad air. For centuries, it was impossible to tell the difference between various fevers, malaria, influenza, pneumonia. Instead, they were mainly thought to be "a group of deadly phenomena created by marshy emanations."
{ Banner Free since 1978 }

#15 YolistoKhaki

YolistoKhaki

    Veteran

  • Administrators
  • 3,091 posts

Posted 14 February 2012 - 01:33 AM

CasiYucateco - Re: People reported that Merida, in contrast, had "fresh air" and fewer mosquitoes.

There are some out of this world beautiful places in Southern Veracruz. Some are in the mountains and I got the bright idea to direct a friend into that area, since she and her husband prefer the lay of that kind of land to the relatively flat, dry and hot climate in northern Yucatan... and so they went for a visit... woops... LOL She said the mosquitoes are gigantic and aggressive... and totally blanket the entire area. She said they were miserable the whole time they were there and that she's NEVER going back!

Well - I tried... I've never been up in those mountains... I just pass by on my way to and from Yucatan! How was I to know about the mosquitoes? :o :lol:

#16 whazzoo

whazzoo

    Genius naturally

  • Supporters
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,049 posts

Posted 14 February 2012 - 01:42 AM

She said the mosquitoes are gigantic and aggressive... and totally blanket the entire area. She said they were miserable the whole time they were there and that she's NEVER going back! :o :lol:


You folks in the states don't know real Mosquitoes, In Northern Canada they are so big birds are scared of them and whole herds of caribou have been sucked dry, leaving only skin and bones on the tundra. Even modern jets can't fly through them as they are bigger than geese.Posted Image

Whazzoo

Aerocretos de Mexico, S. de R.L. de C.V.

General Contractors

999-273-0840 www.aerocretosdemexico.com 999-955-0503

 

 


#17 annetteghallowell

annetteghallowell

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 79 posts

Posted 15 February 2012 - 08:37 AM

When I was growing up in Minnesota, the kids sang a song adapted from Oklahoma.....my favorite line in our version : "Where mosquitoes grow as big as crows from Rochester way up to Duluth...... :o

You folks in the states don't know real Mosquitoes, In Northern Canada they are so big birds are scared of them and whole herds of caribou have been sucked dry, leaving only skin and bones on the tundra. Even modern jets can't fly through them as they are bigger than geese.Posted Image

Whazzoo



#18 YolistoKhaki

YolistoKhaki

    Veteran

  • Administrators
  • 3,091 posts

Posted 15 February 2012 - 01:45 PM

(sigh) - additional information about dengue fever (in general) just seems to keep on turning up...

I didn't know that dengue fever is in the same virus family with yellow fever, West Nile encephalitis, St. Louis encephalitis, Japanese encephalitis, and Murray Valley fever. AND I didn't know that there is a new layer to some dengue cases: classic dengue fever > dengue hemorrhagic fever > Dengue Shock Syndrome - which has a 50% fatality rate (but only a 1% to 5% fatality rate if treated properly).

I know tons of expats who have toughed it out with dengue on their own. As this disease continues to spread and evolve, if you get sick, please see a doctor who has as much experience as possible with dengue fever of all kinds.

#19 fishinisfun45

fishinisfun45

    Banned

  • Banned
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 918 posts

Posted 15 February 2012 - 02:43 PM

Khaki,
Thanks for the good link with good information.

They include two curious points about Aedes Aegypti mosquitoes:

The adult life span of dengue vector mosquitoes is generally very short (a few days), although some can survive 14 days or longer. Accordingly, it is amazing that dengue virus transmission occurs at all.


Having lived with a spouse who has collected larvae and raised & maintained adult Aedes Aegypti mosquitoes for the past 10 years we've been together, let me assure the readers that the adults live for up to 60 days in good conditions - and even wild mosquitoes frequently live for up to 30 days, and most adults live around 10 days.

I also found it interesting that they offer no advice on how a Dengue infected person should be treated, instead they offer:

"There is no specific treatment for dengue fever."


In reality, people / patients who suspect that they may have Dengue should not treat pain or fever with aspirin, ibuprofen (motrin), advil, naproxen sodium (aleve) nor other NSAs, and NO anticoagulants. They can use acetaminophen (Tylenol) for pain. Patients should keep fevers below 104ºF / 40ºC using lukewarm baths, cool cloths, alcohol rub-downs, etc.

Febrile adult patients should also treat Dengue by drinking at least 5 glasses of water a day to stay hydrated. Patients and family should watch carefully for DHF symptoms of bleeding between Days 4-6 of fever (also not mentioned by the Louisana officials) - see the Yucatan Living article for a list of warning symptoms that indicate that hospitalization is needed: Everything About Dengue Fever .

Note: The Louisana article makes it sound like DHF is different disease. Instead, DHF is a Dengue virus infection that also includes some potentially life-threatening symptoms.

#20 YolistoKhaki

YolistoKhaki

    Veteran

  • Administrators
  • 3,091 posts

Posted 15 February 2012 - 10:24 PM

Thanks Steve... Louisiana drives me nuts with not even reporting current numbers about this this family of viruses. Instead, they wait until the season ends. THEN they tell us how many of our neighbors died or will be brain damaged for the rest of their lives. That article was the first time I have ever seen the term Dengue Shock Syndrome... pretty scary to know that things can escalate that quickly and to such a deadly point if not handled quickly.




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users