Dengue and malaria: tropical diseases in our country


Coordinator of the Infectology service of the HGPS. President of the Dominican Society of Infectious Diseases

Tropical diseases, such as dengue and malaria, are a common cause of attention in the Dominican Republic, especially in rainy seasons.

Both share common clinical pictures and may end up producing death in some of the cases.

Although dengue and malaria are notifiable pathologies, they are often not reported and this does not allow an adequate epidemiological surveillance system. Here we present the data we have.

The report of the General Directorate of Epidemiology (DIGEPI) of the third week of March, reports that the cumulative incidence (AI) for dengue is 45.2 per 100 000 inhabitants versus 12.3 in 2018, an increase of four times more compared to last year.
In the last four weeks, 425 cases have been reported (probable and confirmed). 80% (341) of the cases correspond to children under 15 years of age.

Santo Domingo This is the municipality with the highest frequency of cases.
Regarding malaria, 10 confirmed cases were detected, all autochthonous of Plasmodium falciparum.

The cumulative incidence (AI) of the year is 5.07 per 100 000 inhabitants, twice as much as in the same period of 2018.
Recognizing the symptoms of these two pathologies and diagnosing early and effectively to provide timely treatment is essential, since these diseases share a common clinical picture, but the treatments are completely different. This is why self-medication can be dangerous and represents one of the reasons why rapid deterioration occurs.
Not hydrating properly or taking inappropriate medications, such as aspirin, worsen most febrile eruptive diseases.
Dengue. Dengue may occur more than once and the more it has been suffered, the more likely it is to present a serious form, so we must avoid reinfection and work on prevention. It must be stressed that timely detection and access to adequate medical care reduce mortality rates below 1%
On the other hand, we must remember that there are other diseases that can also be confused with dengue and malaria such as leptospirosis, influenza, measles, hepatitis, chikungunya and yellow fever among others.
Dengue is a febrile viral infection that is transmitted by the bite of female mosquitoes of the genus Aedes aeypti. There are four serotypes (DEN 1, DEN 2, DEN 3 and DEN 4). It occurs in tropical and subtropical climates. Symptoms appear 4-10 days (average of 4-7 days) after the bite of the mosquito.
Malaria. This a tropical infectious disease is produced by a protozoan of the genus Plasmodium (malarie, vivax, ovale and falciparum). In our island the autochthonous cases are due exclusively to Plasmodium falciparum, which maintains sensitivity to chloroquine. Other non-native forms of transmission are described, especially among Venezuelan foreigners who come to the country.


Published in: Today Digital Newspaper

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