June 22, 2006


The dengue-virus is carried by the Aedes Egyptii mosquito

ARUBA - Every day, the Aruban laboratories do more than one-hundred blood tests for dengue. They do not reveal the number of positive tests. According to the minister of Public Health and Milieu, Booshi Wever (MEP), we cannot talk about an epidemic, because that conception has not been defined yet. Calling around to several medical institutions revealed though that there are at least thousand cases of infections.

A lab technician said that they do about 50 blood tests for dengue on a daily basis. "Aruba has three labs that do these tests, so work out for yourself the total amount of cases." The technician didn't go into details about the results of the tests. 'The Public health Administration has sent around a note to the labs, stating that the labs are not authorized to publish the numbers of dengue. I don't know why we're not allowed to do this. I am pretty sure that the administration knows the exact number of dengue cases. I can only guess why they do not publish the numbers. The number of cases of dengue might be huge and this information may hurt the tourism."

At the Public health Administration, only general manager Trevor van Gellecum is authorized to talk to the media about dengue. However, he is not available for comments. An employee of the Public Health Administration didn't risk talking about the actual number of dengue cases, but indicated that 'the Amigoe is pretty close' when she was asked if the number is about one thousand.

Sick people have to notify the Social Insurance Company (SVb) or the Company Medical Service (BGD), so they can continue being paid during their sick leave. Harry Veneman, manager of the Labour and Health department of the SVb told Amigoe: "It is difficult to tell how many of our customers are infected with the dengue virus. We do not keep up with the diagnosis. That's against the medical disciplinary rules." He explained that the SVb is an institution that does payments.

Approximately one hundred customers come in at SVb during office hours. "Our database only contains personal records. The medical disciplinary rule is that we do not associate the personal information with the diagnosis. We do keep the files up to date with the diseases though, but that is not computerized. We are busy setting up an electronic system for the registration of the diagnoses, but this system is not linked to the database. This system will only help us keep up with whom is receiving sickpay and how many people are suffering of a certain diseases, but not exactly who is suffering of what."

Veneman doesn't want to risk saying that more people that are possibly infected with the dengue virus are now coming to SVb. "It is difficult to judge. If I give you a number, it is purely based on the symptoms people have when they come to us. Our medical staff does ask our customers how they feel. But an answer as 'I have fever, aching muscles, and headache' can relate to dengue, but can also relate to the flu. Many people have the tendency to blame their symptoms on dengue, because this disease is frequently in the news. Only a blood test can diagnose this and we do not have that information, but the Public Health Administration does.

Aruba Travel Guide - Health Overview

There are no special health requirements for visitors to Aruba. Aruba has experienced occasional outbreaks of Dengue Fever, a flu-like illness transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes that favour densely populated areas, therefore the use of insect repellent is advised. Visitors are warned that some types of fish, including some tropical reef fish, are poisonous when eaten, even cooked.

Medical care is good in Aruba, which has one hospital, the Dr. H.E. Oduber Hospital, with three classes of service for patients depending on the level of their insurance. Health insurance is recommended. Food and water are considered safe.

Dengue Fever

Cause: The dengue virus - a flavivirus of which there are four serotypes. Transmission: Dengue fever is transmitted by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which bites during daylight hours. There is no direct person-to-person transmission. Monkeys act as a reservoir host in south-east Asia and west Africa. Nature of the disease: Dengue occurs in three main clinical forms: Dengue fever is an acute febrile illness with sudden onset of fever, followed by development of generalized symptoms and sometimes a macular skin rash.

It is known as "breakbone fever" because of severe muscular pains. The fever may be biphasic (i.e. two separate episodes or waves of fever). Most patients recover after a few days; Dengue haemorrhagic fever has an acute onset of fever followed by other symptoms resulting from thrombocytopenia, increased vascular permeability and haemorrhagic manifestations; Dengue shock syndrome supervenes in a small proportion of cases. Severe hypotension develops, requiring urgent medical treatment to correct hypovolaemia.

Without appropriate treatment, 40-50% of cases are fatal; with timely therapy, the mortality rate is 1% or less. Geographical distribution: Dengue fever is widespread in tropical and subtropical regions of central and south America and south and south-east Asia and also occurs in Africa; in these regions, dengue is limited to altitudes below 600 metres (2,000 feet).

Risk for travellers: There is a significant risk for travellers in areas where dengue fever is endemic and in areas affected by epidemics of dengue. prophylaxis (protective treatment): None. Precautions: Travelers should take precautions to avoid mosquito bites both during the day and at night in areas where dengue occurs.


dennisintn said...

i guess aruba is having one of those "occasional outbreaks" of dengue fever. i've been seeing local articles and complaints about dengue fever on the island for the last 5 months.

Anonymous said...


Most people who develop dengue fever recover completely within two weeks. Some, however, may go through several weeks of feeling tired and/or depressed.

Others develop severe bleeding problems. This complication, dengue hemorrhagic fever, is a very serious illness which can lead to shock (very low blood pressure) and is sometimes fatal, especially in children and young adults.

Because dengue virus has only recently emerged as a growing global threat, scientists know little about how the virus infects cells and causes disease. New research is beginning to shed light on how the virus interacts with humans — how it damages cells and how the human immune system responds to dengue virus invasion.

There is no vaccine for preventing dengue.

The risk of dengue infection for international travelers appears to be small, unless an epidemic is in progress. (Aruba currently has a dengue epidemic unreported in fear of loss of tourism)

Additional information on Dengue Fever:


Anonymous said...

Deaths from Dengue fever
Death statistics for Dengue fever: The following are statistics from various sources about deaths and Dengue fever:

Dengue death statistics by worldwide region:
About 2,000 deaths from dengue in The Americas 2002 (The World Health Report, WHO, 2004)
About 12,000 deaths from dengue in South East Asia 2002 (The World Health Report, WHO, 2004)
About 1,000 deaths from dengue in Eastern Mediterranean 2002 (The World Health Report, WHO, 2004)
About 4,000 deaths from dengue in Western Pacific 2002 (The World Health Report, WHO, 2004)

Aruba hasn't made a report on their diseases since 2002.

Cover ups on epidemics and diseases to protect tourism loss is a crime against Human Rights.

Anonymous said...

Dengue has many variants in Aruba since the earlier centuries brought in by the Dutch pirates to the local island women population. This particular Aruban Dengue strain is very destructive to the Americans and Canadians who has no antibiotics in their body immume system to expel the virus. This is another serious coverup by the Aruban government.

Mr. Justice said...

"Another reason to avoid Aruba?" I am still looking for A reason to not avoid Aruba, and have yet to find one.

ofir said...

the bubble beach aruba island dangerous