MONTEVIDEO – The first quarter of 2017 ended without new indigenous or imported cases of dengue, Zika or chikungunya, but Uruguay must remain vigilant as Holy Week approaches, Health Ministry director-general Jorge Quian said on Tuesday.
“A large number of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes” are present in the South American country, where Holy Week is a big travel period, and travelers must take protective measures, Quian said.
“Personal care during travel includes the use of mosquito repellant and appropriate clothing. Anyone coming home with any symptoms should see a doctor as soon as possible, especially if there is fever, malaise, pain in the eyes and skin blotches,” the Health Ministry official said.
Precautions should be taken throughout the year since larvae will be gestating even when mosquitoes are not evident in the cool months, Quian said.
There will be no widespread fumigation since it is not recommended unless a proven case is registered and it becomes necessary to prevent a disease outbreak, the Health Ministry official said.
Earlier this year, Deputy Health Minister Cristina Lustemberg told EFE that Uruguay was “on maximum alert” due to the presence of more mosquitoes than in previous years.
So far, there has been one documented chikungunya case in a Uruguayan man who visited Brazil but had shown early symptoms in 2016 and is not counted as a 2017 case, Health Ministry spokesmen told EFE.