Dengue fever cases fewer than last year
THE MINISTRY OF Health has reported one death and 40 confirmed cases of dengue fever so far this year.
This is a substantial drop from last year’s figures, when 115 cases were confirmed for the same period. This trend has also been seen in suspected cases, which so far number 207 compared to 544 during the same period last year.
The Environmental Health Department has stepped up measures to prevent and control mosquito breeding across the island. These include fogging of high risk areas; house-to-house inspections; monitoring and inspections of schools and tertiary institutions; weekly surveillance of mosquito activity around the ports of entry; and regular inspection of plant nurseries and tyre shops. The Department continues to collaborate with utility companies to conduct inspection of underground junction boxes.
Symptoms of dengue fever include sudden high fever, severe headaches, pain behind the eyes, muscle and joint pain, and anyone experiencing these is advised to seek medical attention. Symptoms of severe dengue, also known as dengue haemorrhagic fever, include bleeding from nose, mouth and gums; frequent vomiting; clammy skin; and rash or loss of consciousness. Persons experiencing these will require immediate medical attention.
In order to control the spread of the disease, persons who have been diagnosed with dengue fever should protect themselves from being bitten by mosquitoes again by using insect repellents; sleeping under a bed net; and wearing long sleeved shirts and pants while outdoors.
The public is reminded that breeding of the Aedes aegypti mosquito occurs where water settles. As a result, every effort should be made to inspect premises weekly, and eliminate conditions which promote mosquito breeding and encourage the spread of dengue fever.
This includes checking roof guttering, plant pots, disposed tyres, garbage cans, discarded appliances and plastic containers for water collection; as well as septic tanks, underground and above ground water storage systems. (BGIS)