SVG records more than 1000 laboratory confirmed dengue cases
THIS COUNTRY has recorded more than 1000 laboratory confirmed cases of dengue fever as at October 14.
According to a release from the Ministry of Health, 1155 persons have received positive results for having the mosquito- borne disease, which has resulted in the death of at least 6 persons to date.
The release advised that “a thirty-seven (37) year old female, from the Marriaqua Health District, who was admitted on Sunday October 11 and died on Thursday October 15, tested positive for, but did not die from dengue fever as determined by postmortem”.
While dengue fever continues to affect all health districts, most cases have been reported as occurring in persons in the Kingstown, Georgetown and Pembroke health districts.
The majority of cases have also been recorded in persons under 16, with an attack rate of 2.6 per cent in the 5 to 14-year age group.
“Persons who have previously had dengue fever, zika, or children of mothers who had dengue during their pregnancy, are at increased risk to develop severe dengue fever. These individuals and their guardians are asked to be particularly vigilant for any warning signs of severe dengue,” the release said.
The Ministry’s release noted that the Hospital Services and Pharmacy Services have been working in collaboration with the PAHO Eastern Caribbean Countries office in Barbados to support the care and treatment of all patients with dengue fever.
Focus is being placed on critically ill patients who have developed severe dengue fever.
And this collaboration has resulted in the procurement of specialized equipment and medications to increase SVG’s capacity to care for patients who become severely ill as a result of the mosquito- borne disease.
“The most recent example of this collaborative support was the procurement and delivery on Monday October 12, of forty (40) vials of medication for a patient who has developed Guillain-Barre Syndrome,” it said.
Guillain-Barre Syndrome is a rare disorder in which the body’s immune system attacks the nerves. Earliest signs of the disorder includes weakness and tingling in one’s hands and feet.
The Vector Control Unit will continue to ramp up its strategy to reduce mosquito populations through the deployment of district teams focused on source reduction. This includes fogging.
The Ministry’s Health Promotion activities are also included in the strategies being employed and it is expected that these activities will continue with the engagement of communities, churches and other non-governmental organisations.
“The fight against Dengue Fever is a shared responsibility. The public is therefore urged to continue to work with the Ministry of Health, Wellness and the Environment to reduce the risk of persons being infected with Dengue Fever by reducing their exposure to the mosquito which causes dengue…” the release said.
This includes reducing the breeding of mosquitoes by discarding improperly stored water and covering properly collected water, reducing rubbish and overgrown bush and wearing lightly coloured clothes with long pants and long sleeves.
The use of mosquito repellent and mosquito nets is also advised so as to prevent mosquito bites.
Persons are also being reminded to open their homes to allow increased effectiveness of fogging by the Vector Control Unit.