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Friday, August 01 2014 @ 08:23 PM EDT

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Chikungunya Virus - Panama's Health Ministry Responding To Increasing Numbers of Cases

HealthcarePeople who have traveled from Haiti and the Dominican Republic have imported the cases of the Chikungunya Virus that have appeared in the Republic of Panama, according to a report issued by health authorities on Thursday. (more)

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Water From The La Villa River Remains Unfit For Human Consumption

HealthcareAfter the problems with pollution of the river La Villa, the regional director of Civil Protection System, José Donderis, announced through a press conference this afternoon that the government will continue to distribute potable water in Chitre and Los Santos until the competent authorities announce that the La Villa river water is fit for human consumption. (more)

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Water Produced In Chitre and La Villa Purification Plant Not Fit For Consumption

HealthcareThe Institute of Aqueducts and Sewers (IDAAN for its acronym in Spanish) announces to its customers and users in the provinces of Herrera and Los Santos, that the water produced in our treatment plants Chitre and La Villa is UNFIT FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION due to pollution in the Villa River as a result of the presence in the liquid of a chemical that affects water quality.

IDAAN, in conjunction with the Ministry of Health (MINSA for its acronym in Spanish) in both provinces, took the decision to declare water as unfit for consumption after they received reports on June 30, of the tests conducted by the Public Ministry about the presence of a herbicide dissolved in water.

The affected areas are: Chitre, Monagrillo, La Arena, La Villa de Los Santos, Santa Ana, Llano Largo, El Bongo, Los Olivos, Guararé, La Enea, El Jobo, Las Tablas, El Cocal and El Carate. (Source: IDAAN Press Release)

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"Alert Zone" Declared Due To Diarrhea Outbreak in Panama

HealthcareStatistics from the Directorate of Epidemiology of the Ministry of Health show an increase in the number of cases of diarrhea in the first five months of the year compared with the same period last year. (more)

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More flu cases in May

HealthcareA report from the Department of Epidemiology of the Ministry of Health shows that during the month of May there were 807 more cases of influenza reported as compared to the same period during 2013. (more)

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Health Ministry Malaria Outbreak in Panama - 46 New Cases

HealthcareA malaria outbreak has been confirmed a is confirmed in the area of Madugandí, however health authorities have clarified no one has died, and they have the medicines and supplies needed to control the virus.

At the national level, so far this year (through the 11th week) there have been 46 reported cases of malaria, 33 in Madugandí, eight in the metropolitan area, and five in the Ngobe -Bugle region.

Malaria is endemic mainly in the indigenous regions, especially in the Eastern part of the province of Panama, and in the areas of Wargandi and Guna Yala.

It also appears in the metropolitan region, usually because the people who live in the affected areas migrate to the city carrying the disease with them, explained Carlos Gálvez, the director general of health.

The doctor said although there are people who are sick (with malaria) in the Ngobe -Bugle region, the numbers fall within the range expected for this time of year, so it is not considered to be an outbreak.

The situation in the indigenous region of Madugandí has been managed as a common outbreak.

Galvez noted that, generally, throughout the entire year there will be a certain amount of cases, but in recent weeks a peak occurred in the increase of the number of cases.

Puerto Limón , Río Piragua, Nuevo Espavé, Ipeti Kuna, Akua Yala, Agua Clara, Piria, Igarwualá, Nargandí, Cañaza Indígena and Río Sábalo are the villages where the number of affected people are concentrated.

All of these communities are connected by canoe, and some of them are far from a health center.

Since the beginning of the outbreak, about 23 health workers in the region, supported by staff from the Darien, have been deployed to each of these communities, and they will stay there for a week to make sure the infected people take the drugs as required.

They will also fumigate, eliminate breeding sites of the Anopheles mosquito, spray larvicides in puddles to kill the larvae of this vector, which transmits the disease from one individual to another through bites. (Panama America)

Editor's Comment: Malaria is a threat in Panama in the more remote regions of the country. Bug spray is your best defense - just don't get bit if you venture into the hinterlands of Panama.

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Dengue Claims 8th Victim - a 93 Year Old Man in San Francisco Neighborhood of Panama City

HealthcareThe district of San Francisco, in the capital district, recorded its first death from dengue, the third victim reported so far this year and the eighth since the epidemic was declared in the country.

The Director General of Health, Carlos Galvez, confirmed the death of a 93 year old man who received care at a private clinic, where he died Monday.

The doctor said the name, despite the treatment provided by the hospital, only lasted three days in the hospital.

Upon inspecting the victim's home, health officials found breeding larvae of the Aedes aegypti mosquito.

Galvez said a note has been sent to all health regions, to consolidate the amount of fines that have been issued at the national level, because there are still people who seem indifferent to preventive measures.

The Ministry of Health recently issued more than 5,000 fines during only one day of inspections conducted in the metropolitan (Panama City) region. The fines were issued after health inspectors found mosquito breeding sites. (Panama America)

Editor's Comment: A "breeding site" can be anywhere rainwater can collect. For example, if your dog plays with a Frisbee in the backyard, and if inspectors find that Frisbee on the ground, upside down with rainwater inside, don't be surprised when they issue you a fine.

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Health authorities confirm fifth dengue death

HealthcareAuthorities of the Ministry of Health (MoH ) confirmed on Sunday, the fifth death from dengue type 2.

A 35 year old woman who lived in the sector of Belén in the area of Tocumen died after being hospitalized for several weeks in the Santo Tomás hospital.

Authorities have confirmed 3,307 cases to date that are not serious, and 9 severe cases.

On 30 December, the MoH declared an epidemiological alert after an increase in the number of cases of dengue transmitted by the mosquito Aedes aegypti . "We've gone into the epidemic area. We are in an epidemic of dengue," said Health Minister, Javier Diaz.

The Ministry of Health is also seeking cooperation from the general public in their efforts to eradicate mosquito breeding sites of the transmitter, and reinforce operational fumigation nationwide. (Panama America)

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Ministry of Health Confirms Third Death From Dengue

HealthcareThe Minister of Health, Javier Diaz confirmed that the eight year old child who came to the Emergency Room of the San Isidro Health Center on 27 December 2013 died to due dengue, and not from self-medication as had been reported before.

With this death now three people have died from dengue.

On December 30, 2013 the Ministry of Health declared there was a "nationwide dengue epidemic" and at the time a total of 3,124 cases had been detected.

For several weeks there was an intense fumigation operation to prevent the breeding of the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which transmits dengue.

The Gorgas Memorial Institute is preparing the final details for the release his January of a transgenic mosquito that will help reduce the spread of the Aedes aegypti.

It is estimated that in the coming weeks they will be releasing about 15,000 transgenic mosquitoes in the district of Arraiján. (Estrella)

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Nurses Are Probably Going On Strike Again

HealthcareThe continuing effects of the medical strike are still alive within the nurses sector, according to the President of the National Association of Nurses, Elidia Espinoza.

According to the leader, Elidia Espinoza, the nurses in Renacimiento and Río Sereno in Chiriqui have received discounts in their paychecks, despite of the final agreement that stated this measure was going to be suspended.

"They must return this money to the nurses, because they are violating current agreements,” said Espinoza.

Espinoza did not rule out the possibility of another strike organized by the nurses. (Telemetro)

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