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Take the necessary precautions to prevent the spread of Dengue Fever

Take the necessary precautions to prevent the spread of Dengue Fever

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The Caribbean Public Health Agency has confirmed an outbreak of Dengue Fever in Jamaica. The last outbreak of Dengue Fever in St Vincent and the Grenadines occurred in 2012.

The Caribbean Public Health Agency issued an advisory last week encouraging countries to implement enhanced measures to reduce mosquito breeding and prevent the spread of disease. This is in light of predictions of a regional outbreak of Dengue occurring in the near future.

Dengue Fever is a flu-like illness that affects infants, young children and adults. It is spread by the Aedes aegypti mosquito. Symptoms usually start between four and ten days after infection.

Signs and symptoms of a Dengue virus infection include:

  • high fever
  • headache (pain behind the eyes)
  • vomiting
  • muscle and joint pains
  • skin rash (red rash)

Severe Dengue Fever is characterized by potentially fatal complications, such as internal hemorrhaging (bleeding), intense and continuous abdominal pain or tenderness and persistent vomiting. In some cases, Dengue may cause death.

There is currently no vaccine against Dengue Fever. However, pain, fever, vomiting and weakness typical of Dengue Fever can be adequately treated once early medical attention is sought.

Dengue Fever is spread by the same mosquito as Chikungunya and Zika. In order to reduce the likelihood of becoming infected, persons are advised to take the following actions to reduce the mosquito population and to eliminate their breeding sites:

  • cover water containers such as drums and tanks
  • clean guttering
  • remove sources of stagnant water e.g. old tires, bottles, bottle caps, buckets, empty coconut shells
  • seal septic tanks
  • scrub the walls of frequently used water containers to remove mosquito eggs

Additionally, persons should take measures to protect themselves from mosquito bites by:

  • using insect repellents containing DEET, Picaridin, IR 3535, and Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus
  • wearing long sleeves and long pants as well as light colored clothing.

Fogging has commenced and will continue in the following locations as of Monday January 21, 2019: Paul’s Avenue, Level Gardens, Richmond Hill and Rockies. This vector control measure will continue across St Vincent and Grenadines.

For more information, please contact your nearest health care provider.

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