Dengue Action Response Team (DART), the Island Governments multidisciplinary team coordinating the nation’s dengue response, met recently to review the currently statistics related to dengue fever, and can confirm that the number of dengue cases are on a downward trend.
The number of laboratory confirmed dengue cases for January was 16 out of 95 laboratory requests; for December 2008 – 25 confirmed cases out of 151 laboratory requests and for November 80 confirmed cases out of 338 requests.
The number of hospital admissions for the month of January is 14 however only six of the patience admitted was confirmed dengue fever cases.
Persons experiencing dengue fever-like symptoms should still visit their family physician. Persons should also follow-through by going to the lab to have a dengue fever test carried out to determine if they actually have the virus. This information is very important for the statistical section at Sector Public Health, Labour & Social Affairs.
The DART Team advises that even though there is a downward trend, residents still have to follow the preventive actions that have been recommended throughout the information campaign.
To keep this number on the downward trend, it calls for each resident to change his/her behavior by keeping their immediate surrounding mosquito free. Those who require additional information about preventive actions should contact the Hygiene Department at 542-2079.
The Island Government approved an emergency budget of over Naf.300,000 in the last quarter of 2008 to cover a number of interventions related to the dengue fever outbreak. From the allotted amount, information materials such as brochures, posters, magnetic posters, and public service announcements were developed and distributed.
Some of the interventions taken comprised of house-to-house/yard inspections; increase in vector control fogging activities; and presentations to non-governmental organizations and schools.
Dengue is a mosquito-borne infection that causes a severe flu-like illness that affects infants, young children and adults, but seldom causes death.