CPS alerts local physicians to regional dengue fever situation

And to look out for possible local cases

The Collective Preventive Services (CPS) of Sector Public Health, Social Development & Labour, has alerted local family physicians to the regional dengue fever situation and has asked them to look out for possible local cases. 

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The recent rain showers can lead to the creation of breeding grounds for mosquitoes and hence CPS/Hygiene & Veterinary Departments have urged residents to be proactive and take preventative measures against mosquito breeding in order to avoid mosquito-borne diseases developing such as dengue fever.

Dengue fever has reached what has been described as crisis proportions in several countries across the Caribbean region.

CPS is closely monitoring the local situation, however, it is all up to residents/business owners to keep vigilant and to take immediate action in and around their homes/businesses.

The Dominican Republic has reported at least 27 dengue fever deaths and more than 7,000 cases. According to media reports, Trinidad is running out of hospital beds due to an increase in dengue fever cases while officials from Puerto Rico have reported that the island could be facing the worst dengue outbreak in more than a decade with at least five deaths and more than 6,300 suspected cases reported since mid-July.

Other countries that have reported dengue fever outbreaks are Honduras and Belize.

Dengue fever is caused by a virus and is transmitted to humans from the bite of infective mosquitoes. Dengue fever is not transmitted from person-to-person.

The symptoms of dengue fever are high fever, severe headache, back ache, joint pains, nausea, vomiting, eye pain and rash.

The incubation period from the time the infection until symptoms develop, can be three to 14 days, but more commonly four to seven days.

Persons returning from islands and countries where dengue fever is endemic and who develop the aforementioned symptoms, should consult with their family physician.

Persons who intend to travel to dengue endemic countries should take preventative measures such as using a mosquito repellent, wearing long sleeve clothing and staying indoors during early dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active.