Collective Prevention Services Appeals for Action to Prevent an Increase in Dengue and Chikungunya Cases due to daily rainfall

Section Collective Prevention Services (CPS) within the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour is appealing to the community to step-up mosquito prevention measures in order to prevent an increase in dengue and chikungunya cases due to the daily rainfall that the country has been confronted with.

CPS uses this opportunity to also commend the Dutch Quarter Community Council in conjunction with the organizes of the OASIS project for carrying out a clean-up effort within the district about two weeks ago.

Minister of Public Health Hon. Cornelius de Weever is appealing to social and civic clubs as well as community councils to come together with their members and assist the people in their districts with clean-up campaigns

Every individual, household and business has a responsibility to take action and protect public health and our economy.

Chikungunya, is a virus similar to dengue, transmitted by the same mosquito that spreads dengue.  The symptoms are similar to dengue fever and may include a sudden high fever, headache, rash, nausea and muscle pain.

However, stiffness and severe joint pain, especially in the wrists, knuckles or ankles, are more often associated with chikungunya. The incubation period (time from infection to illness) can be two to 12 days but is usually three to seven days.

Acute chikungunya fever typically lasts a few days to a few weeks and some infected patients in the Asia region have reported debilitating arthritic pain persisting for weeks or months.

The condition’s outcome is that most patients feel better within a week; some people may develop longer-term joint pain; people at increased risk for severe disease include newborns exposed during delivery, older adults and people with medical conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes or heart disease. Deaths are rare.

There is no vaccine or medication to prevent chikungunya virus infection or disease, the recommended prevention is to reduce mosquito exposure.

Residents and business leaders play a key role by continually being active in taking measures to mitigate the mosquito population in eliminating mosquito breeding sites.

Residents and visitors are reminded to protect themselves especially when out during dusk and dawn hours by using mosquito repellent or wear proper clothing (long sleeve shirts/blouses and pants) to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes.

Every household is requested to actively take actions on a daily basis to eliminate mosquitos by checking containers such as buckets and water tanks for larvae and eliminate the breeding source.  If there aren’t any containers with water for mosquitoes to lay the larvae there won’t be any adult mosquitoes.

Dengue Fever and Chikungunya are transmitted by the female vector Aedes Aegypti mosquito. The Aedes Aegypti mosquito lays her eggs in clear (clean) stagnant water. Within eight days the mosquito can complete its life cycle from egg, to larvae to pupae and to adult mosquito.

An increase in the mosquito population puts all residents and businesses at risk. Call for information on the Aedes Aegypti mosquito breeding sites and respective preventive measures at 542-2078 or 542-3003 or visit the Facebook Collective Prevention Services.