Above Normal Spike In Dengue Cases Hits St Vincent And The Grenadines

(LOOP NEWS CARIBBEAN) – Steps are being taken in St Vincent and the Grenadines to prevent a severe outbreak of dengue fever on the island.

The Ministry of Health says on July 25, the country recorded 48 laboratory confirmed cases of dengue.

The number of laboratory confirmed cases as of August 25 has now increased to 74.

The Ministry states this increase is not typical for this period and is urging Vincentians to take the requisite precautions to prevent further spread of the illness.

Laboratory confirmed dengue cases for the period January to August 2020 have not been confined to any particular health district.

However, the majority of cases have been reported in the Pembroke Health District which includes communities between Campden Park and Barrouallie.

Laboratory confirmed cases recorded to date are between the ages of six months and 86 years old.

Forty-six of these cases have resulted in hospitalisation.
Dengue is a flu-like illness spread by the Aedes Aegypti mosquito.

Symptoms of Dengue usually begin four to ten days after infection and include:

  • A high fever, headache, vomiting, muscle and joint pains, and a skin rash.  

  • Persistent fever, vomiting, and abdominal pain or tenderness, or bleeding, are warning signs which suggest that dengue fever disease is taking a more severe course. 

  • Persons experiencing these symptoms should seek medical attention immediately as severe dengue may cause death. 

The Ministry says it has intensified vector control measures and continues to closely monitor vector activity and syndromes related to dengue fever.

Vincentians are also being urged to play their part to reduce the mosquito population and to destory breeding sites by:

  • Properly covering water storage containers such as buckets, drums and tanks.  

  • Removing stagnant water sources such as old tyres, bottles bottle caps, empty coconut shells and buckets from around homes and communities in an effort to destroy all possible mosquito breeding sites.  

  • Cleaning guttering.  

  • Sealing septic tanks.  

  • Scrubbing the walls of frequently used water containers to remove mosquito eggs.  

  • Regularly changing water in animal and pet containers.