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Mexican Caribbean Authorities Launch New Program To Protect Tourists’ Health

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The Mexican Caribbean government has implemented a new program to protect travelers’ health as dengue cases skyrocket in the sunny destination.

Quintana Roo is currently one of the hardest-hit states, with over 2,746 cases of dengue fever reported so far this year. And with rising precipitation this fall, officials are preparing for a worst-case scenario with regard to dengue fever.

Cancun beach with tourists

Although rarely fatal, dengue fever can cause complications ranging from severe fever to low blood pressure.

With that in mind, here’s what authorities are doing to prevent the spread of disease and what precautions travelers can take.

a mosquito infecting a person after biting

New Government Initiative Aims To Control Rising Dengue Cases

Dengue fever is a viral infection that is common across tropical regions like that of the Mexican Caribbean state of Quintana Roo. Spread by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, dengue fever tends to spike during the rainy months, when mosquitos multiply at a higher rate.

The regional government launched a new ambitious program earlier this month that targets the rising mosquito popularity. The initiative is in effect across 11 municipalities, including Cancun and Playa del Carmen, which have also seen some of the highest rates of reported dengue fever.

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Some 49 trucks have been deployed to fumigate public areas in an attempt to limit the spread of the viral disease. Meanwhile, residents are urged to remove any open sources of water from their homes and gardens where mosquitos can lay their eggs.

Officials are also warning residents and travelers to take precautions to shield themselves from severe forms of dengue by contacting a healthcare provider as soon as possible.

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According to Flavio Carlos Rosado, the head of Quintana Roo’s healthcare department, dengue rates are expected to continue rising throughout the fall despite new efforts to control the spread. That’s why experts have highlighted the importance of preventive measures.

These Locations Have The Highest Rates Of Dengue This Fall

Nearly three thousand cases of dengue fever have been reported in Quintana Roo so far this year, and four people have died due to the disease.

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The municipality of Benito Juárez – where Cancun is located – is currently reporting the highest number of dengue cases, potentially owing to the city’s improved healthcare services and higher awareness of the disease.

Other Mexican Caribbean hotspots that have also seen cases skyrocket, including Playa del Carmen and Chetumal, where officials are currently ramping up efforts to mitigate the disease.

85 patients are currently hospitalized with moderate to severe dengue in the Mexican Caribbean, and around 1,267 patients are being monitored for their symptoms

An ambulance on a road in Cancun

Fortunately, most cases of dengue are easily treatable and resolve on their own. Around 1 in 20 patients will develop complications, some of which can be life-threatening, which is why experts are advising travelers to monitor their health at all times for any symptoms.

Symptoms of the disease generally resemble those of the common flu, although some signs are more likely to point to dengue. According to Mr. Rosado, travelers who experience intense pain in or behind the eye or discomfort in the joints should contact a healthcare provider or hospital as soon as possible.

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Aside from watching out for potential symptoms, travelers can also take preventive measures to decrease their risk of coming in contact with infected mosquitos. That’s especially important when exploring Quintana Roo’s lush outdoors, which tends to have more mosquitos.

Travelers are urged to wear long-sleeved shirts and to regularly apply mosquito repellent when outdoors. Meanwhile, visitors staying at an Airbnb should make sure to control mosquitos inside the property.

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