I write today about a common illness here in Guatemala: Dengue Fever.
Wikipedia tells us that: Dengue fever, also known as breakbone fever, is an infectious tropical disease. Symptoms include fever, headache, muscle and joint pains, and a skin rash that is similar to measles. In a small proportion of cases the disease is life-threatening. Dengue is transmitted by several species of mosquito. and there are four different types. The incidence of dengue fever has increased dramatically since the 1960s, with around 50–100 million people infected yearly. Dengue has become a global problem since the Second World War. Apart from eliminating the mosquitoes, work is ongoing on a vaccine, as well as medication targeted directly at the virus. Mosquitos that carry dengue usually bite during the early morning or evening and an infection can be caused by a single bite. Reducing open collections of water is the best method of control. People can prevent mosquito bites by wearing clothing that fully covers the skin, using mosquito netting while resting, and/or the application of insect repellent.
It has been raining alot in the Peten during the last six weeks. This means that water is collecting everywhere and mosquitos are breedng and rampant. So, it is a time when many here will suffer from dengue. Recently, Orfe's 15 year old niece was hospitalized with a serious case of dengue. Anita, the 2 year old child of Ismael and Orfe has also had dengue within the past 2 months. I am hoping that the mosquitos do not find American blood appetizing!
Sr. Pam Buganski
Sr. Pam joined SewHope as our first American Project Coordinator in 2012