PARAMARIBO, Suriname, CMC – Amid mounting speculation that President Desi Bouterse is suffering from dengue fever, his vice president has told legislators that the newly elected head of State has been ordered to rest at home for the next two weeks.
Vice President Robert Ameerali said he would be in charge of the country until September 2 and refused to disclose the nature of Bouterse’s illness.
But a brief Cabinet statement said that Bouterse, 64, “is doing well and (there is) no one needs to worry”.
But there has been much speculation that the former military strongman, who staged two successful coups before being democratically elected in May, is suffering from dengue fever that is sweeping a number of Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries.
There have been a large number of confirmed cases of dengue fever in Trinidad and Tobago, Belize, Jamaica, Barbados and Dominica and these countries have put their health officials on alert for a possible outbreak of the disease which is spread by the aedes aegypti mosquito that has previously bitten an infected person..
The mosquito flourishes during rainy seasons but can breed in water-filled flower pots.
Dengue fever symptoms include headache, fever, exhaustion, sever muscle and joint pain, swollen glands and rash. Other signs of dengue fever include bleeding gums, severe pain behind the eyes, and red palms and soles.
Bouterse was sworn in on August 17 and has been keeping a low profile since his inauguration.