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Revista Costarricense de Salud Pública

Print version ISSN 1409-1429


MONTERO CH, Giselle et al. Dengue fever in the community of Metrópolis II, Pavas, San José, Costa Rica: perceptions of vulnerability and severity of the illness’. Rev. costarric. salud pública [online]. 2008, vol.17, n.32, pp.01-09. ISSN 1409-1429.

The community of Pavas, located in the Central Plateau of Costa Rica and within it, in the western part of San José, has been one of the most-intensely affected areas by the recent dengue epidemic. Despite the efforts of the local clinic, community participation aimed at controlling the disease has been sparse and insufficient during the past couple of years so that the goal of preventing new cases has not been met. The purpose of this research was identify the perception of individual vulnerability as well as the severity of dengue fever among individuals living in the section of Pavas called Metrópolis II and, also, to come up with a set of recommendations for the local health authorities which would allow the latter to design interventional strategies from a community perspective. This qualitative study was carried out during the month of November 2006. The main finding is that dengue fever doesn´t represent a health priority for the Metrópolis II community, this priorization resulting from other needs which are felt to be important but not yet taken care of in their environment. The subjects interviewed for this study, agreed that any individual regardless of sex, age or social condition is at risk for acquiring dengue; nevertheless, there is still, stigma attached to this condition and also a transferring of responsibility for its acquisition to groups that are less-educated, poorer or foreign to the immediate social environment. We found mistakes in the knowledge of the causes of this illness, as well as regarding the concept of breeding sites as well as the mode of transmission of dengue fever. Regarding the perception of severity, the majority of those interviewed agreed that dengue fever is a serious and dangerous condition which can even be fatal or lethal.

Keywords : Dengue fever; perception; vulnerability; severity; community; Pavas.

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