Four confirmed cases of dengue fever related deaths
FOUR OF THE 432 confirmed cases of dengue fever in St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) have died from severe cases of the mosquito-borne disease.
This is according to an update dated September 28, from the Ministry of Health, Wellness and the Environment.
“As previously indicated, one adult female and one nine-year-old male who died were confirmed on laboratory diagnosis to have had Dengue Fever,” the release said. “A fouryear- old male who died before the dengue test could be completed, has now been confirmed to have had Dengue Fever from a sample taken after his death. An elderly male who died on Friday, September 25 at the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital, has also been confirmed to have had Dengue Fever.”
The release said the Hospital Services Programme and Community Health Services programme continue to provide emergency care to many persons who present with symptoms of Dengue.
And persons with symptoms of Dengue Fever are asked to seek medical care early to avoid possible complications of delayed care.
Symptoms of dengue fever include fever, headache with pain behind the eyes, a rash, abdominal pain, vomiting and bleeding.
The Pharmaceutical Services Programme, in consultation with physicians, is considering the use of papaya leaf tea and interferon as a means of augmenting care for patients with moderate and severe Dengue Fever.
According to a publication in India, papaya leaves are known to increase platelet count and are also enriched with anti-malarial properties, which makes it one of the best home remedies to fight against dengue and other illnesses.
It has been used in India for years to help fight the mosquito-borne disease.
Interferon is known to boost the immune system response.
“Home treatments for dengue fever should focus on reducing the fever by using cool not cold baths, acetaminophen (paracetamol) not ibuprofen and maintaining hydration by drinking lots of fluids such as coconut water,” the ministry’s release said.
The Vector Control Unit is expected to further ramp up its strategy to reduce the mosquito populations through the deployment of district teams focused on source reduction, including fogging.
The dengue fever outbreak was first noted in June/July 2020 and while all health districts continue to be affected, most cases have been reported in Kingstown, Georgetown, Pembroke and Calliaqua health districts.
Persons between ages 0 and 15 account for the majority of cases.
The public is being encouraged to reduce the risk of being infected through reduced exposure to the mosquito which causes dengue.
This includes reducing the breeding of mosquitoes by discarding improperly stored water or covering properly collected water, reducing rubbish and overgrown bush and wearing lightly coloured clothes with long pants and long sleeves.
Other methods include using insect repellents and mosquito nets to prevent mosquito bites and opening homes to allow increased effectiveness of fogging by the Vector Control Unit.