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Ministry monitoring Dengue

Ministry monitoring Dengue

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There are currently no reported or diagnosed cases of dengue hemorrhagic fever in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, says Epidemiologist, Dr. Jennifer George.{{more}}

George, however, confirmed that there were 45 cases of dengue fever, which she said is endemic to St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

The level of dengue fever increases at specific times of the year. The rainy season, where there is an increase in mosquitoes, is one of those periods.

George said that the cases of dengue fever peaked in August with approximately 28 cases. She said up until July there were only 15 known cases.

The epidemiologist explained that dengue fever may lead to complications, but so far there are no fatal cases in St.Vincent and the Grenadines. She said that the numbers may sound high but other Caribbean countries have higher figures of confirmed cases.

George said that there are four existing types of dengue fever, Types 1, 2, 3 and 4, but there are only three predominant types circulating in the region, Types 1, 2 and 4.

St.Vincent and the Grenadines presently has Type 2.

George disclosed that St.Vincent and the Grenadines is in discussion with the Caribbean Epidemiology Center (CAREC). CAREC supports the Ministry of Health by conducting test on samples from this country on a weekly basis. Results are confirmed within a week or two.

George said the Ministry of Health is now in a monitoring mode.

She said, “…it’s not new, the dengue fever is endemic to St.Vincent. What is new is that we are going now above our threshold predominant dengue count in St. Vincent.”

During the monitoring process, George said that there would no longer be a need to test everyone because of the fact that it is present and it will not change the way patients would be treated. She stated that patients that have severe symptoms and are hospitalized would continue to be tested.

Children who have fevers will also be tested for dengue.

George noted that patients who have travelled to countries with the other types of dengue fever would also be tested in an effort to monitor whether another type of dengue has entered the country. She said health officials will also be monitoring undiagnosed cases of suspected dengue fever which may result in death.

George said the Ministry of Health is carrying out extensive house-to-house inspections and will be monitoring all containers.

The epidemiologist is appealing to the public to do their part by reducing the number of bottles, drums, tires and artificial barriers that may give rise to the disease.

The Ministry will also be conducting educational campaigns via the media.

Dengue fever is known to be a mosquito borne disease from the Aedes Aegypti, which is present in St.Vincent. (DC)