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Dengue, a mosquito-borne viral disease, killed about five students in St. VIncent and the Grenadines between 2020 and January 2021.
Dengue, a mosquito-borne viral disease, killed about five students in St. VIncent and the Grenadines between 2020 and January 2021.

The Ministry of Health, Wellness and the Environment on Thursday warned of an “above normal’ increase in dengue cases” and said it was “taking all necessary steps to prevent a severe outbreak of dengue fever in St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG).

The ministry said in a press release that July 25, SVG recorded 48 laboratory confirmed cases of dengue.

The number of laboratory confirmed cases as of Aug. 25 has increased to 74.

“This increase is not typical for this period and Vincentians are urged to take the requisite precautions to prevent further spread of the illness,” the ministry said.

It said that laboratory confirmed dengue cases for January to August 2020 “have not been confined to any particular health district.

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“However, the majority of cases have been reported in the Pembroke Health District which includes communities between Campden Park and Barrouallie. Laboratory confirmed cases recorded to date are between the ages of 6 months and 86 years old.

Forty-six of these cases have resulted in hospitalisation.

Dengue is a flu-like illness spread by the Aedes Aegypti mosquito. Symptoms of dengue usually begin four to 10 days after infection, and include a high fever, headache, vomiting, muscle and joint pains, and a skin rash.

Persistent fever, vomiting, and abdominal pain or tenderness, 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 as severe dengue may cause death, the ministry said.

There is no specific treatment for dengue.

Persons experiencing symptoms of dengue should use pain relievers as prescribed by their healthcare provider.

Medicines that contain aspirin should be avoided as they may worsen bleeding.

Adequate rest and hydration are also important.

The Ministry of Health, Wellness and the Environment has intensified vector control measures and continues to closely monitor vector activity and syndromes related to dengue fever. Clinical care and treatment guidelines have also been shared with healthcare providers.

Research conducted by both the Caribbean Public Healthy Agency (CARPHA) and the Pan American Health Organisation/World Health Organisation (PAHO/WHO) shows that drums and tyres are the main mosquito breeding sources in our countries.

Vincentians are urged to play their part to reduce the mosquito population and to destroy breeding sites by:

1. Properly covering water storage containers such as buckets, drums and tanks.

2. Removing stagnant water sources such as old tires, bottles, bottle caps, empty coconut shells and buckets from around homes and communities in an effort to destroy all possible mosquito breeding sites. 

3. Cleaning guttering

4. Sealing septic tanks

5. Scrubbing the walls of frequently used water containers to remove mosquito eggs

6. Regularly changing water in animal and pet containers

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

1. Using insect repellents containing DEET, Picaridin, IR 3535 and Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus

2. Wearing long sleeves and long pants as well as light colored clothing.

“The Ministry of Health, Wellness and the Environment is reminding citizens that: ‘Our health is a shared responsibility. Let us continue to play our respective parts in controlling the spread of diseases.” For more information, please contact the ministry or your nearest health care provider,” the ministry said.

3 replies on “SVG trying to prevent ‘severe outbreak of dengue fever’”

  1. heaven help SVG if this spreads under this incompetent regime. Look what happened with Chikengunyia which stayed unaddressed in Bequia until it spread to the mainland. I am not surprise that it is high in Pembroke with all those old cars Punnette have lying about. He is friendly with the politicians, so he gets away with it.

  2. Alobert Hipple says:

    I live in the area with the highest outbreak and haven’t seen a spray truck in two years. What is the Government doing?

  3. Nathan Jolly Green says:

    I had Dengue twice and Chikungunya once. SVG has so much dirty water spots that everything mosquito born will infect the island in a continual cycle.

    We can also expect eventually to have an outbreak of Malaria because Venezuela where its was eradicated since 1961, was in pandemic mode since 2019.

    Diseases transmitted by mosquitoes include malaria, dengue, West Nile virus, chikungunya, yellow fever, filariasis, tularemia, dirofilariasis, Japanese encephalitis, Saint Louis encephalitis, Western equine encephalitis, Eastern equine encephalitis, Venezuelan equine encephalitis, Ross River fever, Barmah Forest fever, La Crosse encephalitis, Zika fever, Keystone virus and Rift Valley fever.

    Venezuela has an 85% shortage on all medical supplies and people are dying with all sorts of diseases which were eradicated worldwide, but are now rife in Venezuela.

    So expect some of these diseases to work their way up the chain. Especially as secret night flights arrive in SVG from Caracas, opening their holds and cabins allowing Venezuelan mosquito’s to fly free in the island.

    Thank you comrade, for nothing.

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