GREAT BAY, Sint Maarten (GIS) – Section Collective Preventive Services (CPS) from the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour reports that a 59-year-old male from the Guana Bay District died on January 20, 2011, and based on a preliminary autopsy report, its dengue related.
The person was admitted on January 16, 2011 to the Sint Maarten Medical Center Emergency Room for complaints other than fever, headache or body aches, which are traditional symptoms for dengue fever.
CPS’s controllers have carried out inspections of the residential and surrounding areas and have identified a number of mosquito breeding places, which have been eliminated. Physicians are requested to remain attentive in the diagnosis of dengue fever.
Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever (DHF) is a severe, potentially deadly infection spread by certain species of mosquitoes, namely the Aedes Aegypti, the same vector responsible for dengue fever. There are four different dengue viruses that are known to cause DHF. DHF occurs when a person catches a different type of dengue virus after being infected by another one sometime before. Prior immunity to a different dengue virus type plays an important role in this severe disease.
The CPS reported for the month of January, that 21 lab tests were carried out and four cases were confirmed of which one was fatal.
The only way to prevent dengue virus transmission is to combat the disease-carrying mosquitoes. Based on the fact that reports of dengue fever in the Caribbean are prevalent, CPS is requesting residents to remain vigilant in executing measures in eradicating mosquito breeding places. The CPS request collective assistance from the community in protecting yourself, your family and your neighbor from the Aedes Agypti mosquito by means of minimizing mosquito breeding places in their surroundings and close environment.
Preventive actions that every household and each resident should take are: removal of debris, old tires and standing clear/clean water in yards (usually are the main source and breeding ground for mosquitoes bringing about an increased risk of mosquito-borne diseases). These areas should be immediately eliminated.
Immediately check for clear/clean standing water in roof spouts, empty drums, buckets, jars, birdbaths, boats, plant containers, saucers, paint cans and other items that can collect water around your homes and businesses. Where clear/clean standing water exists, one can use small amounts of kerosene, just to cover the surface as a measure to prevent mosquito breeding or just get rid of the container.
Dengue is a mosquito-borne infection that causes a severe flu-like illness that affects infants, young children and adults, but seldom causes death.
Anyone requiring information concerning measures to prevent mosquito breeding or to report areas of standing water, overgrown vegetation etc should immediately call CPS at 542-2078.