Dominican Republic Life and Culture

Diseases That Affect Dominicans By Mosquito Bites

Outbreaks of malaria have been reported sporadically in the Dominican Republic, according to health authorities, outbreaks are controlled. So far, several people have been detected with the disease with no death.

Some of the most common diseases that affect the Dominican population are transmitted by vectors such as mosquitoes. You should take into account your symptoms and care to be taken.

In addition to malaria, the Dominican population is affected by dengue, chikunguya, zika, and filariasis (known as elephantiasis), which are transmitted by mosquito bites. The first disease and filariasis are caused by the Anopheles mosquito (Anofeles), while the others are mainly by Aedes Albopictus and Aedes Aegipty mainly, the latter also transmits yellow fever and Mayaro, but in the Dominican territory there are no two pathologies

The Anopheles mosquito transmits protozoan parasites, malaria that presents with a high fever preceded by chills and followed by profuse sweating, and headache and general malaise. This insect usually bites at night and in the twilight, both inside and outside the rooms

Other symptoms of malaria are muscle and joint pain, vomiting, and diarrhea, according to Dr. Vírgen Gómez Alba, who is a pediatrician and infectologist.

If it is not diagnosed and handled at an early stage, it can evolve into a severe malaria condition with brain involvement, jaundice, severe anemia, kidney failure, bleeding and death.

Filariasis or elephantiasis (thickening of the skin and other tissues, especially in the legs of people who suffer from it) is also transmitted by the Anopheles mosquito, whose females can fly up to three kilometers to search for a host of their larvae and perform hemosuction (bite). This mosquito has a head and body in a straight line and at an angle to the plane. It usually has mottled wings (moles).

Filariasis is a disease that is caused by the transmission of parasites called filarias through the mosquito bite. The infection usually contracts in childhood and causes non-manifest damage to the lymphatic system until adulthood, when its manifestations occur that are painful and disfiguring. It is a disabling pathology that produces a lot of social stigma in those who suffer from it. According to the doctor, there are cases in the country, but it is not a disease as common as dengue, which is endemic.

Dengue, chikungunya and zika

Dengue, chikungunya and Zika have common manifestations at its onset, such as fever, headache, skin rash, body aches, red eyes, among others.

Dengue if not diagnosed and handled correctly and in time can lead to death, while chikungunya produces severe joint pain that can be associated with arthritis.

The Zika, it has been associated with diseases such as microcephaly in newborns, premature births, miscarriages, and various congenital malformations, not only in the nervous system, but also in bone, eye, etc., and in children and adults, it is linked to Guillian Barré syndrome.

In the Dominican Republic, dengue is an endemic disease with epidemic peaks every two or three years; Chikungunya in 2014 produced an epidemic that encompassed the entire country and Zika in 2016. Cases of yellow fever and Mayaro have not been documented.

Prevention

The prevention of these diseases consists in controlling the proliferation of mosquitoes and not exposing themselves to their bites. For the first, the hatcheries must be eliminated, such as puddles, tires, containers with water and also fumigate. To avoid being bitten, people should sleep with mosquito nets and use repellents, and wear clothing that covers the arms and legs.

Epidemiological bulletin 2019

The epidemiological bulletin number 34 of the Ministry of Public Health shows that 22 probable cases of dengue distributed in 10 provinces were reported and that in the last four weeks 87 cases (probable and confirmed) were reported, which he said reflects a decrease of one 24% in relation to the same period of 2017 (214). “During this period, dengue virus circulation was detected in the provinces Azua, Montecristi, Hato Mayor, Santo Domingo and a foreigner from Haiti,” he says. From malaria, the bulletin states that 14 confirmed cases were detected, 12 indigenous and two imported.

“The indigenous cases correspond to eight men and four women between 2 and 64 years of age, coming and living in the localities that make up the focus of La Ciénaga. The imported cases correspond to a boy and a man with 10 and 40 years of age (respectively) from Venezuela and Nigeria”. He adds that 55 cases have been reported in the last four weeks, for a total of 269 reported throughout the country.

I will keep this epidemiological bulletin updated.