Health Authorities in Sancti Spíritus Do Not Rule Out Presence of Oropouche Virus

Monday, June 10, 2024 by Madison Pena

Health Authorities in Sancti Spíritus Do Not Rule Out Presence of Oropouche Virus
Oropouche Virus - Image by © El Arsenal and Flickr/Claude Schildknecht

With over 500 fever cases in the past week, health authorities in Sancti Spíritus have stated that there is no confirmed presence of the Oropouche virus in the province. According to Dr. Carlos Ruiz Santos, director of the Provincial Center for Hygiene, Epidemiology, and Microbiology, a protocol similar to that for dengue is being applied. Dengue itself reported 22 cases in the last week, with higher occurrences in the municipalities of Yaguajay and Trinidad, as per the official newspaper Escambray.

So far, authorities have stated that the confirmed cases at the Pedro Kourí Institute of Tropical Medicine (IPK) in Havana are of dengue and not Oropouche. However, the alert remains active because the province has favorable conditions for the development of the mosquito vector, Culex quinquefasciatus.

The expert explained that this vector "lives in brush, stagnant water, and the province has suitable conditions." He added, "These days, there has been an increase in rainfall; the territory has a significant number of leaks, sewage discharges, and overgrowth. There is a complex environmental situation that needs attention," confirmed the official.

Additionally, he mentioned that "some individuals may be admitted at home and other patients, even if they only present non-specific fever without severe symptoms, should seek medical attention due to their health condition." He included those with warning signs such as abdominal pain, profuse diarrhea, or other complex symptoms.

Ruiz Santos clarifies that procedures to identify whether it is Oropouche or dengue are carried out in the territory itself and "at the IPK, a real-time PCR test is being used in a certain number of people."

On May 27, the Ministry of Public Health (MINSAP) of Cuba confirmed the presence of Oropouche fever cases in the province of Santiago de Cuba. The official note from MINSAP indicated that after "follow-up and surveillance actions of non-specific febrile syndromes in the province of Santiago de Cuba, the presence of the Oropouche virus was identified in two health areas in the municipalities of Santiago de Cuba (Ernesto Guevara) and Songo La Maya (Carlos J. Finlay), based on samples studied at the national reference laboratory of the Pedro Kourí Institute."

To date, several provinces in the country have declared the presence of this disease. Last Friday, a 22-year-old from Santiago de Cuba, who was hospitalized with symptoms of Oropouche, passed away in that locality. Richard Daniel Nieves Chaveco, a resident of the II Frente municipality, was studying a Bachelor's degree in Pedagogy specializing in Geography at the Faculty of Natural Sciences of the University of Oriente and was in his fourth year.

Oropouche Virus in Sancti Spíritus: Key Questions Answered

Given the current health situation in Sancti Spíritus, here are some frequently asked questions and their answers regarding the Oropouche virus.

What is the Oropouche virus?

The Oropouche virus is a disease transmitted by the Culex quinquefasciatus mosquito, causing symptoms such as fever, headache, and muscle pain.

How is the Oropouche virus diagnosed?

Diagnosis is typically done through a real-time PCR test, which is conducted at specialized laboratories like the Pedro Kourí Institute of Tropical Medicine.

What preventive measures are being taken in Sancti Spíritus?

Health authorities are implementing protocols similar to those used for dengue, including vector control measures and monitoring environmental conditions conducive to mosquito breeding.

© CubaHeadlines 2024

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