150 confirmed and 472 suspected cases of dengue in Santa Cruz have caused the government of this Eastern Bolivian state to declare a red alert. Hospitals have been instructed to provide free health care to anyone with symptoms of dengue.

The Santa Cruz state and city governments, CRE (the regional power company) and YPFB (the national oil company) have provided vehicles and fuel to duplicate fumigation efforts.

The municipal government is pleading with residents to cooperate with fumigation brigades to help ensure this epidemic doesn't continue to spread.

The city government will be hiring 213 additional doctors, biochemists, nurses, pharmacists and laboratory technicians who will be sent to third level hospitals and health centers.

Source: El Mundo - 11-Feb-2011 - Read the Full Article in Spanish.

In addition, the U.S. Embassy's American Citizen Services unit published this information in the February "American Connections" newsletter:

Each year during the rainy season, tropical zones in Bolivia experience an outbreak of Dengue Fever. Tourists and short-term visitors are rarely affected, but it is worth taking extra precautions if your travel plans include visits to the tropics.

With more than one-third of the world’s population living in areas at risk for transmission, dengue infection is a leading cause of illness and death in the tropics and subtropics. As many as 100 million people are infected yearly. Dengue is caused by any one of four related viruses transmitted by mosquitoes. There are not yet any vaccines to prevent infection with dengue virus (DENV) and the most effective protective measures are those that avoid mosquito bites. When infected, early recognition and prompt supportive treatment can substantially lower the risk of developing severe disease. Additional information from the Centers for Disease Control.

WHAT ELSE SHOULD YOU KNOW? Bolivia requires tourists to tropical areas of the country to have gotten a yellow fever vaccine. Yellow fever and dengue are not the same disease. Learn about the differences between yellow fever and dengue.

Click here to post comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Bolivia News 2011.