The Ministry of Health, Wellness and the Environment is aware of reports on an increased number of dengue fever cases in some Caribbean countries.
However, there was only one confirmed case of the dengue fever for 2019 in SVG. Despite this, the Ministry is still encouraging Vincentians to be aware of the symptoms of dengue fever and to seek medical treatment immediately if any 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)
- 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.
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 the Chikungunya and Zika viruses. 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:
- covering water containers such as drums and tanks
- cleaning guttering
- removing sources of stagnant water e.g. old tires, bottles, bottle caps, buckets, empty coconut shells
- sealing septic tanks
- scrubbing the walls of frequently used water containers to remove mosquito eggs
- regularly changing water in animal and pet containers
Additionally, persons should take measures to protect themselves from mosquito bites by:
- using insect repellents containing DEET, Picaridin, IR 3535, and Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus
- wearing long sleeves and long pants as well as light colored clothing.
The Ministry of Health, Wellness and the Environment continues to monitor vector activity and vector control measures remain in effect.
SOURCE: Ministry of Health, Wellness and the Environment