Dengue, chikungunya may increase during rainy season

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Dengue, chikungunya may increase during rainy season


GIS –
The Ministry of Health has cautioned residents that cases of dengue and chikungunya may increase during the rainy season due to a proliferation of breeding sites for the Aedes aegypti mosquito.

As such, officials are urging communities to destroy possible breeding sites in order to lessen the chances of being bitten by an infected host.

“It should be noted that we are in the rainy season and as such, dengue fever is also on the rise. The number of dengue fever cases increases each year in a seasonal pattern, coinciding with the onset of the rainy season. Although not at epidemic proportions, cases will increase due to the increased availability of water and possible breeding sites,” the health ministry stated.

The ministry added that dengue fever is endemic in St. Lucia, meaning that cases are diagnosed year round, and given that both chikungunya and dengue fever are transmitted by the same vector, it is possible that persons may be infected with both diseases concurrently.

“This possibility should be kept in mind, especially in children, adolescents and young persons, who develop signs of febrile illness,” the ministry stated. “Parents should ensure that children are brought in for review at a health centre or medical facility, should any sign of dengue or chikungunya fever develop.”

The Ministry has advised communities to help decrease mosquito-borne diseases by eliminating breeding sites, covering water receptacles properly, wearing long sleeved clothing, and using insect repellants to prevent mosquito bites. Meanwhile, the Environmental Health Department will continue fogging operations especially in affected communities, it said.

Symptoms of the both dengue and chikungunya include fever, headache, body aches and pains; but joint pain and joint swelling is more characteristic of chikungunya. Persons can only get infected with chikungunya once. It is believed that one develops lifelong immunity after an infection. This situation differs though with dengue. There are four to five known dengue fever serotypes so a person may get infected with dengue on more than one occasion.

Persons are reminded that it may be difficult to distinguish between the two diseases and that co-infection is possible. Self treatment with medications other than paracetamol should be avoided as the use of more potent painkillers in someone who has dengue can lead to complications such as bleeding.

Children, adolescents, pregnant women and elderly persons, as well as persons suffering from other chronic diseases should seek care early from an approved practitioner, rather than self treating at home.

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4 COMMENTS

  1. Very good advice Aa.  I also thought the rainy season was during the 'summer months' with July being the wettest.

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  2. The ministry of health gets me sick!As the rainy season is almost over that when they want to caution residents about a possible increase in the cases of dengue and chikunguna,( smh).We were suppose to be informed of this from the very beginning of the rainy season (1st of June).
    They're talking about community members should help to decrease mosquito-borne disease by eliminating breeding sites" that's a big joke, because you're trying your best by doing all you can and yet still your home have mosquitos,you still get chikunguna.We've had mosquitos from January until now.Instead of the Environmental health persons just passing around your home, testing water and telling you to empty all breeding sites with water, they should bring along the persons doing the fumigating to fumigate around the houses.Instead of that nonsense they're doing passing on a vehicle and say they're fogging.That method is ineffective.We need close range methods.
    When chikunguna was first detected, it was these same health officials who said that it was nothing to be alarmed about.They have it under control.They had even stop giving the number of persons who were infected but now that it has reached endemic status, something that they were not expecting, they now want to keep count saying, do not self medicate go to the health center/ hospital.More than 85% of the population have had chikunguna, many of who never visited a doctor but self medicated.So what correct number would health officials be able to give? need to know.When you go to the doctor all they give you is panadol for fever, anti-histamine(benadryl) for the itching and co-codamol for the pain, these are medications you can buy without prescription. The most important thing to do is boost your immune system.Make sure you eat a healthy diet.Eat lots of fruit for the vitamins,drink plenty water and fruit juices.And take your supplements and vitamins daily.A weak immune system cannot fight any infection.

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  3. What nonsense from GIS. Please do not tell me our rainy season starts with the North American's autumn. We are already 4 months in the rainy season and we have had floods during that period. Mosquito comes with the rain not the season.

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