Honduras Fights Dengue Virus as it Reaches Epidemic Proportions

(TELESUR) –  The dengue death toll in Honduras has risen to 54 or “epidemic proportions”, the country’s health authorities reported this week as the virus outbreak continues.

A total of 23,304 cases have been confirmed in the Central American nation, Health Minister Alba Consuelo Flores said, adding that the majority of deaths are concentrated in the northern state of Cortes.

There are roughly 16,509 classic cases of the virus, transmitted by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, while another 6,795 are more severe or of the hemorrhagic variety. The country has been on emergency alert since early July.

“We can stop this epidemic only if we eliminate the mosquito’s breeding grounds,” Flores affirmed, urging families to refrain from self-medicating.

Dengue is a flu-like illness with symptoms such as high fever, headache, vomiting, muscle and joint pains, and a characteristic skin rash. The symptoms surface four to ten days after infection.

State authorities are now requesting citizens to visit doctors to obtain a clean bill of health in the event any of the symptoms are experienced.

The virus is transported by are the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which is also responsible for Zika and Chikungunya diseases, so poor-stricken rural areas are oftentimes the most affected.

“We are allocating resources to expand care rooms for dengue (combat) in different places,” President Juan Orlando Hernandez said Tuesday.