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Mosquitoes: How They Make You Sick In Costa Rica

Mosquitoes: How They Make You Sick In Costa Rica

Being a tropical country, it is just natural that Costa Rica has a lot of kinds of mosquitoes. It is better for you to put on sunblock and insect repellent before you go out, no matter the weather.

 

There are 3 diseases spread by mosquitoes here and they are: Zika, Dengue and Chikungunya and they are transmitted by the same class of mosquito, called Aedes, mostly recognized for having white dots in the back legs. This type of mosquito only bites during the day.

 

You will find out in this article that the 3 of them are very similar so, if any of the symptoms appear, you need to get to a health center to get blood tested to discover which one is making you ill.

Dengue

 

Transmitted by the Aedes Aegypti and Aedes Albopictus mosquitoes, mostly in the city. The larvae develops in stagnant water in places like pots, empty containers, wheels and such, even more in the rainy season. There are 2 kinds of Dengue: The first one is kind of similar to covid-19 with symptoms like headache, bone ache and can last for some days to weeks but no further issues after being sick and the second one is very dangerous with high fever, anxiety, cold sweats, tachycardia, blood clotting problems and it might be lethal. With treatment, survival rate is about 99%.

 

2020 statistics showed 9.008 Dengue cases and the most affected areas were the North Pacific and the Caribbean.

 

This disease doesn’t have a preventive vaccine but it is curable.

 

Zika

 

Also transmitted by the Aedes Aegypti mosquito. The Zika virus affects the development of the fetus. Symptoms are fever, acne, joints ache, headaches and it lasts 3-7 days to manifest and it can last around one week more for them to disappear on their own.

 

Every year there are less Zika cases in Costa Rica; however, a preventive vaccine does not exist so it is very important to use bug repellent on the pregnancy.

 

Chikungunya

 

The Aedes Aegypti mosquito again.Incubation time for this disease is from 2 to 12 days and then the infected person will feel extremities pain, fever and acne. Symptoms last around 10 days and they disappear on their own and grant immunity.

 

This one is the least common of the 3 and cases reach a lower rate every year. There are no vaccines and no treatment. In case of infection, symptoms are treated.

Malaria

 

In Costa Rica, Malaria is very uncommon. Last time cases of this disease were reported was 5 cases in 2019.

 

Yellow Fever

 

Costa Rica is not affected by Yellow Fever. But if you have been in a country where this disease is present, every person older than 9 months has to provide a certificate of Yellow Fever vaccination to enter Costa Rica. The shot has to be taken 10 days before getting into the country.

 

As you can see, our health policies are preventing infections and handling as best as it can the situation regarding mosquitoes bites. Municipalities go to fumigate in public places to reduce the hatcheries. All these efforts are paying up but still take precautions if you´re coming to Costa Rica

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Karen Ebanks

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