Dengue is a viral disease transmitted by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, and the government said the levels of mosquito infestation on the island are the worst in the past 15 years. In a meeting Tuesday, Cuban health authorities said they had confirmed 3,036 cases of dengue so far this year. But most people with symptoms, such as fever, vomiting or a rash, do not get tested, as the health system also lacks testing supplies.
Health Ministry officials acknowledged that just in the first week of July, they had identified 14,256 people with “unspecified fever.” The ministry said that figure represented a 42% increase in suspected dengue cases compared to the previous week.
Official figures, however, might not reveal the true extent of the epidemic, for which government officials are giving differing statistics. According to the Communist Party newspaper Granma, there were 27.91 detected cases per 100,000 inhabitants last week. Speaking of the same week, a health official quoted by state media outlet Cubadebate said the rate was lower, 19.7.