One confirmed case of dengue in SVG for 2019
While some Caribbean countries have reported an increased number of dengue fever cases, there has only been one confirmed case of dengue fever in St Vincent and the Grenadines for 2019.
Despite this, the Ministry of Health, Wellness and the Environment is encouraging Vincentians to be aware of the symptoms of dengue fever and to seek medical treatment immediately if any symptom is experienced.
Dengue Fever is a flu-like illness that affects infants, young children and adults. It is spread by the bite of 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).
Persistent fever, persistent vomiting, and persistent abdominal pain, 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 a release from the ministry said.
There is currently no vaccine against Dengue Fever. However, pain, fever, vomiting and weakness typical of Dengue Fever can be adequately treated through early medical attention.
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 play their part to reduce the mosquito population and to destroy their breeding sites by:
(i) covering water containers such as drums and tanks
(ii) cleaning guttering
(iii) removing sources of stagnant water e.g. old tires, bottles, bottle caps, buckets, empty coconut shells
(iv) sealing septic tanks
(v) scrubbing the walls of frequently used water containers to remove mosquito eggs
(vi) regularly changing water in animal and pet containers.
Additionally, persons should take measures to protect themselves from mosquito bites by: (i) using insect repellents containing DEET, Picaridin, IR 3535, and Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus (ii) wearing long sleeves and long pants as well as light colored clothing.
The Ministry of Health, Wellness and the Environment says it continues to monitor vector activity and vector control measures remain in effect.