Thursday 12 December, 2019

A quiet dengue fever reminder from the Ministry of Health

The Ministry of Health has indicated that to date, there is no confirmed report of any dengue-related deaths on the island - but has urged members of the public to take personal precautions against mosquito bites.

In a release on Sunday, the ministry said dengue fever is a mosquito-borne tropical disease that is caused by the dengue virus. The virus is transmitted by the bite of the infected female Aedes mosquito. The Aedes is the same vector that transmits the chikungunya, yellow fever and zika viruses.

The ministry said the symptoms of dengue typically begin to appear three to 14 days after infection. This may include a high fever, headache, vomiting, muscle and joint pains, and a skin rash. The symptoms are said to usually last for two to seven days.

There is no specific treatment for dengue, but access to proper medical care reduces the mortality rate from contracting the virus.

The Health Ministry said the best way to prevent dengue is to avoid mosquito bites.

It reiterated the importance of personal protection against mosquito bites, including the destruction of mosquito breeding sites in or around the home.

Those sites include old tires, laundry tanks, covered tanks/cisterns, drums/barrels, discarded buckets and other containers, pet dishes, construction blocks, bottles, discarded tin cans, tree holes and bamboo, bottle pieces on top of walls, old shoes, flower pots, discarded toys, roof guttering, bromeliad plants, garden containers and tools, brick holes, and unmaintained wading/swimming pools.

The ministry said it continues to heighten its mosquito control activities island-wide.

Concerned individuals are urged to call the Ministry of Health or the nearest health centre for more information.

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