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Girl dies from dengue in St Vincent

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Girl dies from dengue in St Vincent
The Aedes Aegypti mosquito is the carrier of dengue fever. (GP)

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KINGSTOWN, St Vincent – A 10-year-old girl has died from dengue fever, the seventh person to have fallen victim to the mosquito-borne illness.

The Ministry of Health in a statement on Monday, said that the number of confirmed cases in the country has reached 1 617. It said that the girl had “an underlying cardiac condition” when she was admitted to the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital on November 14.

The death is the first since late October, when a 30-year-old female died as a result of the dengue fever. So far six people have died from dengue including a four year old and a nine year-old boy.

The Ministry of Health said that there has been a consistent decrease in the number of laboratory confirmed cases of dengue fever since epidemiological week 41, ending October 10, when 194 new cases were recorded.

“There has also been a decrease in clinically diagnosed cases of dengue fever,” the statement said, adding that the illness continue to affect all health districts, with most cases reported as occurring in persons who live in the Pembroke, Kingstown and Calliaqua Health Districts.

“The Marriaqua and Chateaubelair Health Districts are now ranked as fourth and fifth for the number of reported cases of dengue fever. Persons in the 0 to 15-year-old age group continue to account for the majority of cases, with an attack rate of 3.54% in the 5 to 14-year age group,” the statement said.

It said that the Vector Control Unit continues to implement an intensified integrated vector control programme aimed at reducing the mosquito, which spreads the dengue virus, through source reduction.

“An increased number of fogging teams has allowed for more frequent fogging with larvicidal agents in all communities in a targeted manner. The effectiveness of these interventions is confirmed by the reduction in the mosquito breeding indices throughout the country in the first half of November when compared with the month of October 2020.”

The ministry urged the public to reduce the breeding of the mosquito by discarding improperly stored water or covering properly collected water, reduce rubbish and overgrown bush and wear light coloured clothes with long pants and long sleeves.

People are also asked to use insect repellents and mosquito nets to prevent mosquito bite and open homes to allow increased effectiveness of fogging by the Vector Control Unit.

Symptoms of dengue fever include fever, headache with pain behind the eyes, a rash, abdominal pain, vomiting and bleeding. (CMC)

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