Health

Barbados monitoring dengue fever outbreak in the region – Jamaica Observer

Barbados monitoring dengue fever outbreak in the region

Saturday, October 10, 2020

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BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC)— Barbados says it is closely monitoring cases of dengue fever here in light of outbreaks in other regional countries and increased numbers of suspected cases on the island.

Several Caribbean countries have reported outbreaks this year, including St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines- where deaths have been reported- and French islands of Guadeloupe, Martinique and French Guiana.

Senior Medical Officer of Health, Dr Leslie Rollock, said that while there has been an increase of suspected and confirmed cases in the first nine months of this year compared to the same period in 2018 and 2019, the numbers had not risen “beyond what is expected”.

According to figures released by the Ministry of Health and Wellness, from January to September, there were 174 suspected or probable cases reported to the Ministry, with six laboratory confirmations. No deaths have been reported. These cases were type 3 dengue virus, a strain that has been circulating in Barbados since 2016, the year of the last outbreak here.

This case load compares to 66 suspected and probable cases for the same period in 2018 and no confirmations; and 64 suspected and probable cases last year, again with no confirmed cases.

Dr Rollock cautioned householders and property owners to step up surveillance for the mosquito vector in and around their premises.

“My advice is to check premises weekly for possible breeding sites. Cover or dispose of water containers such as buckets, plastic containers and drums. Containers should also be scrubbed to remove eggs that may be attached to the inside,” the public health doctor shared,” he added.

Dengue fever is transmitted by the bite of the Aedes aegypti mosquito. Common symptoms include fever, headache, pain behind the eyes, muscle and joint pain, and a red itchy rash.

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