SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic (AP) — Thousands of health workers and soldiers will destroy mosquito breeding areas across the country this weekend, worried dengue cases are on track to nearly doubled from last year, officials said Friday.
At least 27 deaths have been reported, and health officials say more than 5,000 people have been diagnosed so far in 2010 with the virus that causes fever, headaches and extreme joint and muscle pain.
More than 100,000 officials will go house by house to explain how to prevent dengue and remove any objects that could serve as breeding grounds, Health Minister Bautista Rojas said.
Last year, 11 deaths and more than 3,000 cases were reported through June.
Officials in nearby Puerto Rico plan to fumigate the island next week and warned of a dengue outbreak that could rival that of 1998, when 17,000 people became sick and 19 died in the U.S. Caribbean territory.