Dangerous Little Suckers

Today, I saw THIS ARTICLE, on the internet, saying there were over 100 cases of dengue in Hawaii. Many newcomers to Panama have never heard of dengue until they come down with it.

This is one disease you do not want to mess with. As you can see from the following map, Dengue is no stranger to Central and South America.


If you are new to Panama or in the process of moving to Panama, you would be wise to educate yourself about this disease. You are infected by mosquitos and this disease becomes more dangerous with each infection.

You can be infected with Dengue four times and each stage is progressively more dangerous. While the first stage is very painful, it is rarely fatal provided that it is correctly diagnosed. However, the forth stage is usually fatal.

Since the disease is spread by mosquitos, It is very important to remove all potential breeding areas of standing stagnating water, such as old discarded tires, trash, etc.

3 thoughts on “Dangerous Little Suckers

  1. Great reminder and a good public service Don.
    For those of you who might be saying, “What good does it do to eliminate water breeding sources when my neighbors are not going to do the same? Their mosquitos will just fly over to my space and drill me. What can I do?”
    You might want to understand how far the average mosquito travels, which for most of them is only about 300 feet. While it is true that the furthest range is 1.5 miles, the great majority of the mosquitoes causing this issue are pretty much staying right around where they were born.
    So it really does pay to clear out any potential breeding water sources on your own property as Don described, and then try to get your immediate neighbors to cooperate with you. 300 feet is not very far.
    It’s only 100 yards or a football field. That’s just 92 meters.

  2. Note that there are at least two major Vaccines under development for Dengue. One by Sanofi and one by GSK with Sanofi’s vaccine due to be launched sometime in 2016. See http://www.dengue.info and http://www.sanofipasteur.com/en/articles/sanofi-pasteur-s-dengue-vaccine-candidate-successfully-completes-final-landmark-phase-3-clinical-efficacy-study-in-latin-america.aspx for more info on the disease.

    Australia is working on control by sterilizing and releasing male dengue carrying mosquitos in infested areas. Another control mechanism is to spray areas where dengue is spreading. However, the mosquito release and spraying programs are not going to come to Panama anytime soon for reason of cost or infrastructure.

    Beyond this, Rich is correct about your local and site control of standing water and breeding grounds along with use of DEET is your best protection.

  3. Don: el dengue es y será un problema de todos hacer conciencia de que will afectar a todos, limpies o no, y en este caso por una persona irresponsable pagan todos,y muy cerca pero igual de importante es el asunto de la basura,un problema trae otro.

    Mis saludos.

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