Chikungunya cases climb to 77,320 in the country
SANTO DOMINGO. Now there are 77,320 cases of the Chikumgunya virus in the country, some 20,000 new cases, which means an incidence rate of nearly 750 per 100,000 inhabitants.
According to the report from the Director General of Epidemiology, in the bulletin for Epidemiology Week # 22, the suspicious cases have been reported in 30 provinces and the National District.
The Chikungunya affects 18 countries in the region and all together they have reported 130,941 cases according to the notification from the Pan American Health Organization, which said that the Dominican Republic has notified the agency of 53,621 cases.
A special situation occurs in the country due to the incidence of children that are born with the virus, which is transmitted vertically, because their mothers have had the illness up to three week before giving birth.
In the Nuestra Señora de la Altagracia Maternity Hospital there is an average of three patients a day admitted. So far they have hospitalized 34 newborns suspected of having the virus, according to the director of Perinatology at the maternity hospital, Dr. Luis Rivera, who said that the demand outstrips the capacity of the neonatal intensive care unit which is 70 patients. Yesterday there were 82 neonatal babies in the unit.
In the Robert Reid Cabral Children’s Hospital, they have attended more than 50 patients with symptoms of the disease.
Likewise, the director of the hospital, Rosa Nieves Paulino, ordered the preparation of an area for attending to the minors of up to a year that arrive with fever.
As a way of obtaining greater collaboration between sectors and the professionals with influence in the health sector, Minister of Public Health Freddy Hidalgo Nuñez met with representative of the PAHO, the private clinics, infectious disease specialists and epidemiologists and other authorities of the health system in order to explain the transmission of the disease which is caused by the bite of an Aedes aegypti mosquito, the same one that transmits dengue fever.
In addition to Hidalgo Nuñez, doctors Jesus Feris Iglesias, Talia Flores, the president of the Infectious Disease Society; Jose Manuel Puello, the director of Tropical Diseases, and Jose Moya, the representative of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) in the country, answered main questions that the people ask about the disease.
The Minister of Public Health order the reinforcement of the medical services with more people and supplies in order that the patients get a fast response to their requirements.
He called for patience by the people, and that they trust in the work of the authorities, which is aimed at the elimination of the possibilities of the mosquito to multiply by eliminating its breeding grounds.
Feris Iglesias said that in spite of the fact that the virus has been around for more than 50 years in the world, this is the first time it has hit the Dominican Republic, and that since the country has not had the virus going around, everyone is susceptible to the disease.
After the meeting, Hidalgo Nuñez went to the Presidential Palace to give a report to President Danilo Medina regarding the situation of the epidemic before the President headed off to the Vatican.
The president of the Society of Infectious Disease Specialists, Talia Flores, attributed the spread of Chikungunya to the fact that Dominicans were not immune to the virus. Immunity comes from exposure to the disease.
For his part Puello explained that if a person has the virus in his blood, if the mosquito bites that person, the virus is passed on to the insect and reproduces within the saliva glands over a period of 10 days for the Chikungunya virus.
Category: DR News |