Cablegate: Dengue Fever Epidemic in Cape Verde

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O 031327Z NOV 09


E.O. 12958: N/A

1. In a meeting on October 29 with the Diplomatic Corps in Cape
Verde, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of
Health provided information about the mushrooming epidemic of
dengue fever that is afflicting the country. The following
details were provided:

--there are over 3,700 suspected cases in Cape Verde;
--42 cases have been confirmed through blood sample testing in
Dakar, Senegal;
--three victims have developed hemorrhagic of dengue fever but
are not in critical condition;
--the World Health Organization has sent two teams with lab
equipment to help provide the capability for the GoCV to start
performing testing in Cape Verde;
--the islands of Santiago (the location of the capital city of
Praia) and the smaller neighboring island of Maio have the vast
majority of the cases. However, suspected cases are starting to
appear on other islands;
--the epidemic is expected to continue, and worsen, until the
unseasonably warm temperatures and high humidity decline,
causing mosquito populations to decrease.

2. The Embassy's Medical Unit has provided Mission employees
with comprehensive information about prevention methods and
mosquito breeding mitigation. One dependent of one LES employee
has been confirmed to have Dengue. Other diplomatic missions in
Praia also have reported confirmed cases among their employees,
with the Portuguese Embassy and the UN mission each having
multiple victims.

3. Also discussed was the increasing number of Malaria cases
being reported in Cape Verde during this rainy season. The
annual average of 100 cases has already been exceeded; the
Health Ministry promised to circulate concrete data soon. The
Director of the Fight Against Malaria program reported that
there are currently 32 cases of malaria but expect over 100

4. It is important to mention that at this moment, Cape Verde
is facing three (3) potentially epidemic conditions: Dengue
Fever (current serotype found in CV is DEN-3), Malaria, and
Influenza A/H1N1. The first two conditions are closely related
to the rainy season and mosquito proliferation. Because the
rainy season usually ceases in November, there are expectations
that the Malaria and Dengue Fever epidemics may last up to
December/January. Close watch, self protection, and medication
may be imperative during this time. Because the potential for
Malaria drugs epidemics is unpredictable, post's medical doctor
recommended the use of anti-malaria for the next two months. The
most commonly used prophylactic drugs are: Malarone, Mefloquine
(Larium) 3198, Doxycycline, Primaquine, and Coartem; however,
only Mefloquine and Doxycline are available locally.

5. A large outdoor public evening event for this weekend has
been canceled as a result of the Dengue epidemic. Post will
provide further updates as appropriate.


© Scoop Media

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