"Autopsy in progress," indicates the death certificate of Luz Alba, 5 years. For his mother, the cause of his death is evident: "dengue." In the Dominican Republic, doctors warn against the ravages of the virus, but authorities refuse to talk about "epidemic". The Ministry of Health bulletin figures are alarming: there were 3,433 cases of dengue between January and 22 June in that country with 10 million inhabitants, compared to 1,558 cases throughout the year 2018.
And the first affected are the children. Children under the age of 15 represent 86% of cases and three children have succumbed to this viral infection transmitted by the mosquito Aedes aegypti since the beginning of the year. The mode of transmission of dengue is similar to that of malaria: female mosquitoes infect stinging a person carrying the virus, which inoculates other humans. The most frequent symptoms are fever, nausea, pain and vomiting. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), half of the world's population is now at risk of suffering from the disease, which is less deadly than malaria, but can lead to serious complications. In the Dominican Republic, dengue is endemic, but after a sharp decrease in the number of cases in the last three years, the illness has returned "in force and is very aggressive," says Clemente Terrero. "The epidemic has just begun and we have to prepare for the worst," he warns.