Venezuela Inside

Health in Venezuela: What are Dengue, Chikungunya and Zika?

Hello, my dear readers!

Today I want to talk about health in Venezuela, since I have been very concerned about the number of people who have become ill and died due to the lack of medical supplies.

Lately there has been a strong increase in malaria cases because the health system suffers the effects of hyperinflation and a recession.

Sadly, in 2017, there were 406,000 cases of malaria in Venezuela, approximately 69 percent more than the previous year, the largest increase in the world, according to the World Health Organization.

The WHO declared on Wednesday that Argentina is free of malaria after three consecutive years without cases, the second country in America to overcome the disease in 45 years after Paraguay. This statement made me realize how bad the medical conditions are in Venezuela.

Diseases that are transmitted through mosquitoes are very common. Every day stories are heard in the news of children, women and men who struggle to get the right medicines.

8 years ago, for example, I remember being sick of Dengue. I had the strongest headache of my life and I felt so weak. At that time the situation in the country still allowed to get medicines and go to the doctor, so I managed to recover and cure the disease. Nowadays it is a little more complicated.

Viral diseases caused by the bite of a mosquito or vector infected by a virus more common in Venezuela are: Dengue, Chikungunya and Zika.

The three diseases have symptoms in common such as fever, headache, muscle and joint pain; and general malaise.

However, they are differentiated by:

  • Dengue: Red spots on the skin. Eye pain.
  • Chikungunya: Severe joint pain. Nausea. Rash. A relevant characteristic is that the person “doubles” in pain.
  • Zika: Rash. Conjunctivitis (appears between 3 to 12 days after the bite)

For many decades Venezuela was a leader in the control of vector-borne diseases, many of which can be deadly, and in public health policies in Latin America, but in recent years the economic recession, characterized by a shortage of food and medicines, hurt the efforts of health authorities. Experts call for regional coordination, since cross-border expansion is a fact and is expected to increase.

What do you think? Let me know in the comments!


Categories: Venezuela

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