Confirmed dengue cases in Jalisco quintupled in 2018 compared with 2017, according to the Epidemiology Department of the Jalisco Health Secretariat (SSJ).
The number of reported cases peaked at 4,828, up from 934 in the previous year.
Health authorities admit that the real total is likely to be even higher, due to underreporting and misdiagnosis. Some estimates suggest there are ten to 12 cases of dengue for every confirmed case.
In 2018, the SSJ reported 223 cases of the more serious and life-threatening hemorrhagic dengue – a tenfold rise.
Dengue is a treatable but occasionally fatal tropical viruscontracted through a bite by a transmitter mosquito, known as aedes aegypti, which normally lays its larvae in stagnant, open water containers.
Although dengue is more common in hot summer months, health authorities warn that cases are still being reported during the winter. Due to the ability of the larvae to incubate and reproduce disease in water, the best prevention is elimination of all containers of stagnant water. Also, keep window frames clean and dry and completely cover and seal all water containers.
Once transmitted by an infected mosquito, dengue has an incubation period of three to four weeks before the first symptoms become present.
Dengue presents itself in one of four different stages.
1. Asymptomatic. No symptoms present, except that of fatigue. This symptom generally disappears before being detected by doctors.
2. Random, unexplained fever.
3. Classic dengue. High fever, accompanied by chills and weakness. Known also as “breakbone fever” due to intense pain throughout the body, with special acuteness in joints.
4. Hemorrhagic dengue. Internal and external hemorrhaging. This stage is fatal. Generally a patient already infected with classic dengue will develop hemorrhagic dengue, due to a second infected bite.
Cases of chikungunya and zika – other mosquito-borne viruses – also increased in Jalisco in 2018. The number of confirmed cases of chikungunya rose from 12 to 27, and zika from 265 to 330.