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Dengue fever cases show increase over 2011

Dengue fever cases show increase over 2011


The number of cases of Dengue fever recorded this year, thus far, is more than five times that recorded for the corresponding period in 2011.{{more}}

According to Dr Jennifer George, Epidemiologist in the Ministry of Health, to date, 58 cases were recorded in the months January to August, compared with just 10 for the corresponding period last year.

In fact, the number of persons with Dengue fever this year has already surpassed that of the total amount for 2011, which stood at 47, according to statistics provided by George.

But while the statistics may seem to be a cause for concern, George told SEARCHLIGHT that the high numbers are because testing for the disease has been implemented and not because of an outbreak of the disease.

“In the past, the health officials may have lost cases because they weren’t testing,” she explained.

“Where they would have had fewer cases, it was because they weren’t testing as much,” George explained, adding that once a patient comes in exhibiting flu-like symptoms, they are immediately tested to diagnose the cause.

And it is because of this that there has been a seeming increase in the number of cases, George said.

There have been reports of persons being infected with Dengue on the Grenadine island of Canouan.

This was confirmed by George, who said within the last two weeks, there have been cases reported from that island.

But the majority of the cases reported have been from foreigners coming in from other countries.

She told SEARCHLIGHT that she did not have a report and could not supply any further details, except that some of those individuals had already left the island and the others who came in already infected were sick for the first day or two.

Just last week, there were two confirmed cases of Dengue reported on Canouan she said.

George also confirmed that a vector team from the public health department journeyed to Canouan to control the number of mosquitoes, which is the primary means by which Dengue fever is spread.

“But it is not unusual for Dengue to be in St Vincent, we are endemic to Dengue,” the health official explained.

She urged Vincentians to be more cooperative when health inspectors visited their premises.

According to George, there have been complaints from health inspectors that people deny them entry into their property.

“Even just to carry out their prevention activities,” George said.

Other preventative measures, she reminded persons, include avoiding having containers, or old tyres, which trap water and make good breeding grounds for mosquitoes.

People may opt to use bed nets or use other types of preventative measures like insect repellants to reduce the chances of being bitten by one of the mosquitoes that transmit Dengue fever.

“Other than that, it is really impossible to eradicate the mosquito,” George told SEARCHLIGHT.

Persons are also being advised that if there is an area where there are a lot of mosquitoes on their property, they should call the vector control department for assistance to have them removed. (DD)