Like many this year, I came down with dengue fever. Costa Rican health officials reported about 2,500 cases of dengue so far in 2013, eight times more than last year.
My dengue fever was terrible and the effects from my February misfortune lingered for a month or so. Because the outbreak was concentrated here in Nosara in a small area near the beach (where I live), I was particularly interested in where these damned mosquitoes were breeding. With representatives from the Nosara Development Association, we trekked along the quebrada (the drainage right-of-way from rainfall) up from the beach to the Guiones business area. Because of mischief by some bad actors or simply from a lack of common sense, rainwater has been diverted here and there to cause flooding and pockets of stilled water, a perfect breeding ground for these awful pesty things.
There is nothing like dengue to dampen the spirit of our tourism economy and our place in paradise. Without adequate inspection and enforcement, our environmental laws are meaningless, the results both unpleasant and dangerous.
While not as obvious as bad roads or a dry well the problem of water from the hills to the sea requires vigilance and serious mitigation. As development surges, we must demand responsible land uses that keep us reasonable safe from dengue as we walk through the jungle to the beaches of Nosara.