The number of dengue cases on Bonaire has increased since the beginning of this year. Bonaire has a few cases of dengue almost every year. The last time we had a high number of local dengue cases was in 2012. Last year and this year, many Latin American countries also had a high number of dengue cases. Dengue is a disease spread by mosquitoes native to the island. The Public Health Department of the Public Entity of Bonaire is actively monitoring the situation, working together with general practitioners, laboratories and the hospital.

In the first quarter of this year, a total of 179 confirmed dengue cases were recorded by the Public Health Department, based on testing. The actual number of cases is probably much higher, since four out of five people with dengue have no symptoms at all. Also, not everyone goes to the doctor and gets tested when they have symptoms, for instance, because the symptoms often go away on their own. As a result, the Public Health Department is not aware of all dengue cases. Fortunately, not many people get sick with Dengue to the point of needing to be hospitalized: three patients were admitted in the first quarter.

In that quarter, dengue was present in all neighborhoods of Bonaire and in all population groups. Since the beginning of February this year, the number of new dengue cases per week has remained about the same. On average, 17 dengue cases are reported per week. So, while dengue is still present on Bonaire, it is not spreading rapidly.

What is the Public Health Department doing?

Besides tracking the number of dengue cases, the Public Health Department also responds to each reported case of infection. Our nurses call the patient to provide information and tips. Inspectors from our vector team then visit to check for possible mosquito breeding sites in and around the home and surrounding areas and treat any such sites on the spot. The vector team has already conducted more than 100 home visits and treated over 400 potential breeding sites to prevent further spread. Mosquito breeding sites are places that hold or can accumulate water, such as empty bottles, food containers and car tires. By cleaning up these places or removing the water, you can help reduce the number of potential breeding sites.

As long as it continues to rain, the dengue mosquito can lay its eggs in stagnant water and these eggs eventually hatch. And as long as there are dengue mosquitoes and the dengue virus, the mosquitoes can transmit the disease to people. So, while we cannot eliminate dengue completely, we can try to reduce it as much as possible.

If you have questions about dengue, check out the dengue Frequently Asked Questions at If your question is not listed, please contact the Public Health Department.