(CMC) – The St Kitts-Nevis government says the twin-island federation is at risk for a dengue outbreak after the country recently experienced an increase in rainfall associated with the passage of Tropical Storm Philippe.
A statement from the Ministry of Health further noted that an increase in rainfall is often associated with an increase in mosquito vector levels and an increase in the risk of spread of mosquito-related diseases such as dengue, zika, and chikungunya.
“The Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) has reported an upsurge in laboratory-confirmed cases of dengue in the region and dengue outbreaks have been reported in three CARPHA member states.
“Dengue viral infection is caused by the dengue virus which is transmitted mainly by female mosquitoes of the species, Aedes aegypti which is prevalent in the federation. St. Kitts–Nevis is at risk for a dengue outbreak,” the ministry said.
The Ministry of Health said through its environmental health departments, it will seek to strengthen its mosquito surveillance efforts to reduce the risk of mosquito-related diseases.
The ministry said that the federation had reported three laboratory-confirmed cases of dengue during the past week.
Several other Caribbean countries, most notably, Barbados, Guyana and Jamaica, have reported an outbreak of dengue fever in recent times.
Dengue is a flu-like illness that affects infants, young children and adults.
Symptoms usually begin four to 10 days after being bitten by a dengue-infected mosquito.
The symptoms include high fever, headaches, pain behind the eyes, muscle and joint pains and skin rash.
The illness can evolve into severe dengue, characterised by intense and continuous abdominal pain, persistent vomiting, and mucosal bleeding.
The ministry is urging affected persons to access medical care at the nearest health centre or hospital if these occur.