Dengue Fever in Costa Rica?? Should I be Concerned?

Old Aug 24th, 2006, 11:14 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 15
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Dengue Fever in Costa Rica?? Should I be Concerned?

I am travelling to Costa Rica in mid-September with my 2 year old daughter, and for the first time have been reading up on the outbreak of Dengue Fever. We are staying in the Central Valley (which does not appear to be an area of concern) and Punta Islita in Guanacaste (which appears to be an area of concern). Should I be concerned, particularly for my daughter?? Should i cancel my trip? Please help! The though of putting my daughter at any risk is very unsettling to me.

Thanks in advance for your response.
crispywheat2 is offline  
Old Aug 24th, 2006, 02:27 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 4,874
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Where do you live? I personally know three people who have been seriously ill with the west nile virus. I'd feel safer in CR than I do at home.
missypie is offline  
Old Aug 24th, 2006, 02:43 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 20
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Where have you been reading about the outbreak of Dengue Fever?
fkmich999 is offline  
Old Aug 24th, 2006, 03:52 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 1,567
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
What does your daughter's pediatrician think?
caribtraveler is offline  
Old Aug 24th, 2006, 03:56 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 3,977
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I've never agreed with rationalizing away such concerns by saying things like "Yes, but you can catch West Nile virus at home too." That's true, but it doesn't change the fact that dengue exists in Costa Rica.

Dengue is a problem every year in Costa Rica, and the Ministry of Health has gone on record as saying it probably never be eradicated here. It can be controlled, mainly by encouraging people to eliminate sources of standing water where mosquitoes breed.

Cases are down 50% over the same time last year, which is a good thing. I remember, though, what happened last year was a dip in number of cases about this time of year, the mini-dry season, and then everybody let their guard down about the standing water thing, and cases soared again the last few months of 2005. August has been very dry, but the rains are starting again. I hope it's not a repeat of last year.

The Tico Times did a brief report on its Daily Page about what tourists can do to be on guard:

http://www.ticotimes.net/dailyarchiv..._06.htm#story3
Jeff_Costa_Rica is offline  
Old Aug 25th, 2006, 05:15 AM
  #6  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 15
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Jeff,

Thanks for the info. I guess i will just do a little more research so that I can make an informed decision. If you learn of any new information over the next couple of weeks, could you pass it along?? Thanks!

crispywheat2 is offline  
Old Aug 25th, 2006, 11:21 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 5,869
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I have had West Nile - lifelong immunity now unless my immune system collapses.
Never want Dengue. Use 3 M's Ultrathon.
M (MD: ABIM; ABNM; ABR)
mikemo is offline  
Old Aug 25th, 2006, 08:19 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 76
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
mikemo,
what are the 3 m's?

crispy wheat,
my fiance and i were in costa rica in june and despite the malaria pills and vaccinations, he contracted malaria- apparently a strand that only exists in africa and haiti! however, this is the first time he has ever been out of the country! he was in the hospital for a week, and very near death at one point. i don't mean to sound like an alarmist but i would seriously check with a reputable infectuous disease doctor, and your pediatrician, before embarking on such a trip with a young child. it is now almost the end of august and my fiance is still not well. the stomach pains come and go and maintaining a stable feeling of wellness has still not happened since our return.

i realize that getting this sick is very rare, and people on this website are very mellow concerning vaccinations, contracting diseases in CR, etc. however my fiance and i have been living with the reality ever since we returned and none of it is worth what we've been through.

sukiduper
sukiduper is offline  
Old Aug 25th, 2006, 09:46 PM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 599
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Sorry to here you both are suffering through the illness. I pray your husband will recover soon!

Could you please share where in CR you were traveling and if he noticed many bugs/bites?

Tahnk you.
Earthtraveler is offline  
Old Aug 26th, 2006, 07:06 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 1,567
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
sukiduper: You are NOT being an alarmist. Malaria is a very serious infection that can be deadly. It sounds like your fiance is very lucky that he made it through. He will get better. He will have to watch for any recurrences in the next few years. If he was treated properly and with the right drugs, the parasites CAN be eliminated from his system. Be optimistic. I lived 17 years in sub-saharan Africa. Had my bouts with malaria. I've been in the U.S. for about 20 years now and only had recurrences the first 5 years or so here (usually one is given a timeframe of 10 years after one has left a country and not gone back to a country with malaria problems). The malaria parasites are now officially out of my system.
Good luck to your fiance and you.
caribtraveler is offline  
Old Aug 26th, 2006, 07:09 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 1,567
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
sukiduper: Please let him know, if he doesn't already, that he should not be donating blood in the next few years. At least until he gets his blood tested and is given the all clear.
caribtraveler is offline  
Old Aug 26th, 2006, 08:06 AM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 5,869
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Sukiduper,
3M is the multinational company which manufacturs the product. I think Ultrathon may still be the very best "DEET" repellent.
We have found it at least as effective as drug prophylaxis: way less expensive and fewer side effects. Even protected vs. swarming Africanized bees in Panama's Darien.
M
mikemo is offline  
Old Aug 26th, 2006, 11:38 AM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 14
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
just wondering where you are staying in the Central Valley, because I did hear of Dengue being present in Alajuela.
I live in Turrubares, near Orotina/Puriscal and there is no dengue here.
taraCR is offline  
Old Aug 26th, 2006, 06:05 PM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 3,254
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
crispywheat2, I had concerns about diseases before I took my family to Costa Rica in June 2005. Before the trip I researched facts on diseases in Costa Rica. Rely on facts, not opinions. There are a lot of web-sites with facts and statistics on dengue fever and other diseases in Costa Rica.

Armed with my facts, I decided to go ahead and take my family to Costa Rica, but I tried to carefully choose where to go and where to stay according to having the highest chances of staying healthy. In fact we ended up staying in areas where there were hardly any mosquitoes. I personally only got 1 mosquito bite on our June 2005 trip to Costa Rica! I usually applied deet, but not always, as we generally weren't visiting areas with lots of mosquitoes.

We also wore long sleeves at times of day when mosquitoes seemed to be more likely to come out...

Here is the funny thing. You know the one and only mosquito bite that I got? Deet wouldn't have helped, as that particular mosquito actually flew up inside of my clothes (I wore loose-fitting clothes because they are cooler.) The label on the Deet says NOT to use it on your whole body, only on the exposed areas. I just thought it was funny that a mosquito managed to solve the "deet dilemma"!

My kids were young adult age when we travelled to Costa Rica...I might have been more worried if they had been younger possibly...

I'm sorry I don't have the web-sites right in front of me with facts about the dengue fever in Costa Rica, but the web-sites are mentioned in travel guidebooks, I recall...Stop in the bookstore and look up health concerns in the index of the books, and write down the web-sites.

I also agree with the advice to ask your child's pediatrician. I don't even know if you can use Deet on a 2-year-old?

Melissa5 is offline  
Old Sep 1st, 2006, 07:11 AM
  #15  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 15
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I would like to thank everybody for all of their input. After considering everybody's comments and doing additional research, I have decided to cancel my trip for the time being. Although I am not overly concerned for myself or my wife, I would feel terrible if anything ever happened tomy little girl! Just not worth the risk, no matter how remote.

Of course, I had bought a non-refundable vacation package for the Punta Islita Resort that must be used before the end of the year which now seems unlikely. If anyone is interested in a five night stay at Punta Islita for a one bedroom casita at good price, let me know!!

Thanks again for everybody's input.

crispywheat2 is offline  
Old Sep 1st, 2006, 08:33 AM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 5,869
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
M5,
The one mosquito bite I got in July/August '03 was in the house on my butt while sleeping. Got West Nile from that critter.
M
mikemo is offline  
Old Sep 3rd, 2006, 06:07 PM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 10,212
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
How long did it take you to recover, Mikemo? Wonder if the symptoms and effects are anything similar to Dengue? Guess West Nile is worse?
shillmac is offline  
Old Sep 5th, 2006, 07:33 AM
  #18  
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 5,869
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Actually, I had flu-like symptoms on Fri and Sat, developed shoulder and truncal weakness on Sat. and a textbook arboform truncal rash on Sun.
All resolved by Tues.
Had I not known better, I might have thought I had Polio.
M
mikemo is offline  
Old Sep 5th, 2006, 03:04 PM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 10,212
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thank goodness it was over quickly. I hope it didn't cost you too much discomfort. Darned mosquitoes!
shillmac is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
lbbttn
Mexico & Central America
9
Jan 7th, 2011 11:25 AM
marysmommy
Mexico & Central America
9
Jun 3rd, 2008 05:54 PM
egret
Mexico & Central America
6
Sep 28th, 2006 08:04 PM
luminouscarl
Mexico & Central America
19
Jun 7th, 2006 05:52 AM
costaricafinca
Mexico & Central America
10
Apr 20th, 2004 03:03 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information