CPS meets on PAHO Epidemiological Dengue Alert

The Dengue Action Response Team (DART) which falls under Collective Preventive Services (CPS), a government agency under the Ministry of Public Health, met recently to discuss an Epidemiological Alert issued by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) about Dengue.


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PAHO is recommending to Member States, especially those located in the regions of Central America and the Caribbean, that could have a greater risk of dengue outbreaks during the second half of 2012, to begin preparing and establishing an integrated response mechanism for the prevention of dengue caused deaths.

The objective of the alert is to prevent the loss of human lives and the overload of health services due to dengue. During the DART meeting, a review was made of current state of affairs and planning with respect to patient care, social communication and environmental management. A follow-up meeting is planned for early May to update the respective stakeholders.

Dengue and severe dengue continue to be a public health concern in the Region of the Americas. Despite Member States’ efforts to contain and mitigate the dengue epidemics, in the past two years, some of the countries in the Region have surpassed their historic record of cases and deaths.

2010 was the year with the highest number of cases in the history of the continent, with 1.69 million cases and 1,185 deaths. In the first 14 weeks of 2010 Sint Maarten had 28 confirmed dengue cases. For the whole of 2010, there were 173 confirmed cases of dengue on the Dutch side.

In 2011, a total of 1.04 million dengue cases and 719 dengue caused deaths were reported. In the first 14 weeks of 2011 for Sint Maarten, there were 12 confirmed dengue cases with two of them being residents of the Northern side of the island. During this year there was also one fatality attributed to Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever (DHF). The total number of cases for 2011 was 22. To date, for the first 14 weeks of 2012, there were nine confirmed dengue cases.

The government agencies part of the DART Team that met recently included CPS, Department of Communications (DCOMM) and Section General Public Health. Other members of the team are the Tourist Office and the Ministry of Public Housing, Spatial Development, Environment and Infrastructure.