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Maria Survived the Dengue Fever Threat

  • December 13, 2010

Little Maria Fernanda, just 17 months old and running a fever, came to the AmeriCares Family Clinic in El Salvador with her mother.  After hearing Maria’s symptoms, the pediatrician tested the little girl immediately for dengue fever—an infectious disease that can be life-threatening if not treated quickly.

Maria was one of thousands of people stricken with the deadly disease during a recent outbreak in Central America. In Honduras, the government issued a national state of emergency due to dengue fever. More than 50,000 men, women and children were afflicted.

Similar to malaria, dengue is transmitted by mosquitoes. It can cause high fever, painful headache and dehydration. In its most severe form, dengue causes internal bleeding and even death. Since there is no cure, prompt treatment is critical – reducing death rates dramatically.

Also essential are prevention programs. People are infected with dengue by a virus-carrying mosquito, which breeds in the warm waters of tropical climates.  To help reduce the threat of dengue and other diseases, AmeriCares has partnered to control mosquitoes and eliminate potential breeding grounds. 

In response to the dengue threat in Central America, AmeriCares delivered over $650,000 worth of medical aid to the region, including IV solutions and medicines.

Therelief was on hand when Maria and her mother went to the clinic’s onsite pharmacy. They received critical rehydration supplies and fever reducing medicines to help the toddler feel better.

Michelle Jackson, an AmeriCares relief worker, met the little girl and her mother at the clinic and said, “Mrs. Fernanda told me how grateful she is for quality health care and she and her family can rely on us.”

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