It is now pouring outside, and it's cloudy and overcast. There is no sign of sun, which is something rare when you live in Puerto Rico. Fortunately, tropical storm Erika passed without wreaking havoc. We are currently in the peak of the hurricane season though, and this is also a period in which more cases of dengue fever are reported. However, now with all the attention on the swine flu, it seems as though the dangers of dengue fever have been pushed to the backburner. When visiting Puerto Rico's Department of Health Website, the first thing you'll see are the statistics on the swine flu, which (as of now) has claimed the lives of 34 people.
Every year though, thousands of people on the island become infected with dengue fever and hundreds have died from it throughout the world. As one of the local newspapers interestingly pointed out, dengue fever is more likely to be a greater threat in Puerto Rico than the swine flu. The chances of getting dengue fever becomes higher when there's rain, as it is spread through infected aedes aegypti mosquitoes. Some of the symptoms include fever, rash, dizziness, and vomiting, amongst others. Unfortunately, there are no vaccines which can prevent dengue fever, and it is contagious. One of the best ways to prevent dengue fever is to use insect repellent, and of course, to avoid getting bitten by mosquitoes! For more information on dengue fever, please visit the Center for Disease Control (CDC)'s Website.
Note: as of Sept. 4th, 2009, there have been 137 cases of dengue fever in Puerto Rico.