October 16, 2009
This Warden Message alerts U.S. citizens residing in and visiting Nicaragua that the Nicaraguan Ministry of Health (MINSA) has reported 1,752 confirmed cases of dengue fever in Nicaragua from July 2009 to October 14, 2009. According to local reports, the majority of cases have been reported in the capital city of Managua and in the department of Masaya, although some cases have also been reported in Matagalpa, Boaco, Leon and Rio San Juan. Dengue fever is a mosquito-transmitted illness, for which there is no vaccine, and no specific treatment. Dengue hemorrhagic fever is a rare, more severe and sometimes fatal form of the disease. Since July, MINSA has confirmed eight fatalities caused by Dengue. For the latest information, you may visit the ministry’s website at http://www.minsa.gob.ni/.
The Ministry of Health recommends eliminating sources of standing water, which form breeding grounds for mosquitoes. To further reduce the risk of contracting dengue, Nicaraguan officials and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend wearing clothing that exposes as little skin as possible and applying a repellent containing the insecticide DEET (concentration 30 to 35 percent) or Picaridin (concentration 20 percent or greater for tropical travelers). Because of the increased risk of Dengue fever and the ongoing risk, the CDC recommends practicing preventative measures. If experiencing dengue-like symptoms, U.S. citizens residing in or visiting Nicaragua should contact the nearest health clinic or practitioner for evaluation and treatment. Dengue is diagnosed by a blood test that can be performed at any laboratory. There is no treatment for dengue except Tylenol for the discomfort and plenty of liquids for hydration. However the hemorrhagic form does require monitoring and sometimes hospitalization.
The U.S. Embassy recommends that American citizens in Nicaragua monitor the situation through reporting in local newspapers and television and radio news. For further information on Dengue fever, please visit the CDC’s website at: http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/dengue/index.htm.
For the latest security information, Americans living and traveling abroad should regularly monitor the U.S. Embassy’s website http://nicaragua.usembassy.gov and the Department’s Bureau of Consular Affairs website at http://travel.state.gov, where the current Worldwide Caution, Travel Alerts, and Travel Warnings can be found. Up-to-date information on security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll free in the U.S., or, for callers outside the U.S. and Canada, a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
The U.S. Embassy in Managua is located at Km 5 ½ C. Sur Managua, Nicaragua. The U.S. Embassy in Managua can be reached 24/7 at 011-505-2-252-7100. For emergencies (deaths, arrests, etc.) after hours, U.S. citizens can call this phone number and ask for the Embassy Duty Officer. The ACS unit is also available by email at ACS.Managua@state.gov
General information regarding consular services is available by calling 011-505-2-252-7888. Non-emergency services for U.S. citizens are available Monday through Friday, 1:00 to 3:00 PM, except on Nicaraguan and U.S. holidays.