Plenty of rain and frequent travel by its citizens are blamed for giving the industrial state of Guanajuato the highest number of dengue cases in the country.
Cases of the mosquito-spread virus, reported in 42 of the state’s 46 municipalities, have soared this year.
Health Secretary Daniel Alberto Díaz Martínez said yesterday there were 2,600 confirmed cases of type 1 dengue virus, most of them non-serious and most in the municipalities of León, Celaya and Juventino Rosas. As of October last year there had been just nine cases during the entire year.
State health authorities have confirmed that four people have died from dengue this year.
With half of the state’s population living within a 300-kilometre radius, its vulnerability to epidemiological diseases is heightened.
At the national level there were 9,251 confirmed cases of dengue, also known as breakbone fever.
Díaz explained that heavy rains and climate change have contributed to the problem, though it’s not just the rain alone that brings out the mosquitoes but the practice of leaving open containers outdoors where accumulated water serves as a breeding ground for the insects.
He said another factor is frequent travel by the state’s residents to nearby beach destinations such as Nuevo Vallarta, Nayarit, where they become infected and bring the virus back home with them.
The fight against dengue began in April with an active epidemiological watch and trash removal efforts that cleared the Guanajuato landscape of 300 tonnes of objects that could provide breeding grounds.
“The key is to eliminate the mosquito eggs,” said Díaz, as is basic sanitation. Simple actions like washing, covering up and discarding any object in which rainwater can collect are the foundation for epidemiological control, he said.