Food for the Hungry Responds to Deadly Dengue Fever Epidemic in Nicaragua

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More than 50 people have died from a severe strain of dengue (deng-ee) fever in Central America, with more than 4,900 adults and children infected in the last two weeks in Nicaragua. The Nicaraguan government declared a red alert nationwide on October 25 to contain the epidemic and notify nearby nations.

Food for the Hungry is helping to teach Nicaraguan parents to identify, prevent and treat the deadly dengue fever.

The dengue situation is getting worse. Hospitals are full. The strain is very, very strong. Adolescents are standing or moving around, and then suddenly go into shock.

More than 50 people have died from a severe strain of dengue (deng-ee) fever in Central America. Currently, more than 4,900 adults and children have been infected in the last two weeks in Nicaragua. The Nicaraguan government declared a red alert nationwide on October 25 to contain the epidemic and notify nearby nations.

Dengue fever is spread through mosquito bites and symptoms include hemorrhaging high fever, headaches and body aches. As the death toll keeps rising daily, Food for the Hungry (FH) is mobilizing workers in three Nicaraguan regions: Somotillo, Chinandega and Nueva Segovia.

"The dengue situation is getting worse. Hospitals are full. The strain is very, very strong. Adolescents are standing or moving around, and then suddenly go into shock," Ervin Laiva, FH/Nicaragua Country Director.

FH staff will provide medical equipment, treated bed nets, cleaning materials and fuel for fumigation of mosquitoes. FH will join the Nicaraguan government workers to destroy breeding sites of mosquitoes and spraying houses to combat the life-threatening disease.

FH is joining NicaSALUD to help educate parents on dengue fever identification, prevention and treatment. There is currently no approved vaccine or specific anti-viral drugs to treat dengue fever. However, if the disease can be treated early, children and adults have a higher survival rate. As this epidemic continues to take lives daily, we need take action to help combat the spread of the disease and treat the infected. People can help by visiting http://fh.org/dengue-fever.

Founded in 1971, Food for the Hungry provides emergency relief and long-term development programs with operations in more than 20 countries to help the world's most vulnerable people. Learn more by visiting http://www.fh.org. Social connections include http://www.facebook.com/foodforthehungry and http://www.twitter.com/food4thehungry.

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Megan Rose
Food for the Hungry
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