Published On: Wed, Nov 18th, 2015

As chikungunya surges, Yucatan prepares for new zika virus

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As if worrying about contracting chikungunya and dengue weren’t enough, Yucatecans can add another mosquito-borne virus to their list of preoccupations.

After the report of the first case of the zika virus in Queretaro state, Yucatan authorities vowed on Tuesday Nov. 17 that the state is ready to confront the new health threat.

Meanwhile, reported cases of chikungunya have reached nearly 1,300 in Yucatan, ranking the state among the hardest hit by the disease in Mexico.

Zika is caused by the bite of the Aedes aegypti mosquito, the same transmitter of dengue and chikungunya. According to experts, it is considered genetically more like dengue, but less lethal.

Zika symptoms are similar to those of dengue and chikungunya: fever, muscle pain and possibility of rashes or hives. Zika sufferers may also have conjuntivitis.

But Yucatán is ready to face the arrival of zika or any disease, said the head of the State Health Secretariat (SSY), Eduardo Mendoza Mézquita.

To avoid any outbreak, he added, the SSY is strengthening prevention campaigns and dissemination of epidemiological alerts. Guidelines for the detection and reporting of cases are also updated, insecticide treatments (ground and air) are scheduled, plus indoor residual spraying of insecticide.

Mendoza Mézquita reiterated that Yucatecans should wear long sleeves and long pants, apply insect repellent, use netting for beds, and put screens on doors and windows. To eliminate mosquitoes in dwellings residents should empty or remove any water receptacles that can serve as mosquito breeding grounds, such as tires, buckets, pools, tanks and so on.

Meanwhile, in the recent 44th week of 2015, Yucatan witnessed a surge of chikungunya by registering 130 cases, bringing the total to 1,294 since the first infection was reported in the state, four months ago.

Photo: sism.weebly.com

Photo: sism.weebly.com

With data from the Department of Epidemiology of the Federal Ministry of Health, in Yucatan through Nov. 7 there have been 935 cases of chikungunya in women and 359 in men.

Regarding dengue, Yucatan has reported 1,448 cases, with 1,094 of them of fever and 1,354 of hemorrhagic variety. The first fatality of the latter variety was reported last week in the interior of the State.

Yucatán ranks fifth nationally in this condition, preceded by Veracruz, Sonora, Jalisco and Guerrero.

In Mexico there have been registered this year 20,409 cases of dengue.

As part of the prevention of dengue and chikungunya, the State Health Secretariat (SES) this week ordered fumigation in the municipalities of Progreso, Uman and Kanasín.

SES is offering information on these diseases and preventive measures to visitors at the Xmatkuil State Fair.

Sources: Diario de Yucatan, SIPSE.com

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