2022 Security Report
April 22, 2022

PUERTO RICO DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH ACTIVATES PROTOCOLS WITH SUSPECTED LEPTOSPIROSIS AND
CONFIRMED DENGUE FEVER CASES AFTER HURRICANE FIONA

Puerto Rico health officials are advising residents, given the increase suspected leptospirosis
cases, to avoid having contact with water, soil, or food that may have been contaminated with
urine (or other secretions) of infected animals. To date, a total of 72 suspected cases have been
reported after the passage of Hurricane Fiona.

The Department of Health indicates that a person with a fever, headache, muscles aches,
bloodshot eyes, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, jaundice (skin and eyes yellowish), rash
and cough, who has been walking barefoot through flooding areas, or has been collecting
debris without adequate protections, could be infected with this disease. If you meet the
above reported criteria, seeking immediate medical attention saves lives.
Here are recommendations issued by the Health Department to avoid getting infected with
leptospirosis include: (1) Use protective shoes, do not walk, swim, bathe, submerge your head
or swallow flood water or from any body of water that may be contaminated with urine from
animals or flood water, (2) Cover skin cuts with waterproof bandages or Band-Aids or other
type of material that does not allow the entry of water, and wear long-sleeved clothing, cover
most part of the skin, wear gloves, safety glasses and closed shoes, (3) Do not use flood water
or water bodies to clean the house or wash clothing, and (4) Keep food and garbage in closed
containers and, if you can, put up rat traps.

Similarly, health officials have reported an increased number of Dengue Fever cases, with a
total of 236 confirmed and 50 other probable cases. The passage of Hurricane Fiona has
aggravated this situation, primarily due to the accumulation of non-running water which fosters
mosquito hatcheries. The Puerto Rico Department of Health have reported that at least 107
confirmed cases have required hospital treatment, and 10 have been deemed a severe case of
Dengue Fever. No fatalities have been reported.

Recommendations issued by the Health Department to avoid getting infected Dengue fever
include: (1) Remove Standing Water Around Residences Where Mosquitos Lay Eggs, and empty
and scrub, turn over, cover, or throw out any items that hold water like tires, buckets, planters,
toys, pools, birdbaths, flowerpot saucers, or trash containers as Mosquitoes lay eggs near
water, (2) Tightly cover water storage containers (buckets, cisterns, rain barrels) so mosquitoes
cannot get inside to lay eggs, and containers without lids, use wire mesh to protect, (3) fill tree
holes to prevent them from filling with water, and use larvicides to treat large bodies of water
that will not be used for drinking and cannot be covered or dumped out, always follow label
instructions, and (4) the appropriate use protective mosquito repellent is recommended.
Puerto Rico residents, especially zones affected by Hurricane Fiona, have been urged to
establish preventive measures within their respective homes, by overseeing patios and
properties as mosquitoes rest in dark, humid areas like under patio furniture or under the
carport or garage. The use of insecticides is recommended, always following label instructions.

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