Dengue update

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Dengue update

The Ministry of Health, Wellness, Human Services and Gender Relations issued a public alert in October 2013 after an increase in Undifferentiated Fever and Dengue Fever cases. Following this alert, an intensified Dengue Fever Awareness Campaign was undertaken.

The Ministry of Health is reporting a decrease in undifferentiated fever cases for December.

The Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) confirmed that a 15 year old female from Micoud died on November 24 from Dengue Fever complications. The Ministry of Health offers sincere condolences to the family and community on this unfortunate loss.

The ministry continues its intense campaign which includes information on removal of sources for potential mosquito breeding, dissemination of health paraphernalia, community outreach interactive educational sessions, and school and workplace interventions.

The Environmental Health Department is continuing active entomological monitoring and fogging of communities around Saint Lucia.

However, recent heavy rainfall presents optimal conditions for mosquito breeding, the ministry said.

The ministry again strongly appeals to residents to continue to adopt reduction practices including covering tanks and drums used to store water, puncturing or placing soil in used tires, carrying out weekly checks of premises to identify and get rid of breeding sites for the Aedes aegypti mosquito. A combination of individual responsibility and community empowerment will reduce the number of dengue cases.

The Ministry of Health notes that residents are susceptible to the severe forms of Dengue Fever due to the past outbreaks. It is therefore prudent to be aware of Dengue Fever symptoms — fever, joint and body pain, headache and pain to the back of the eyes.

Persons with suspected or diagnosed Dengue Fever should return to their doctor if they notice:

Frequent vomiting or diarrhoea
Feeling faint or dizzy
Yellowing of the eyes or stool
Dark or bloody urine
Bleeding from the gums, in the stool or under the skin
Heavy vaginal bleeding or abdominal pain.

Children are more at risk to the severe forms of Dengue Fever. Babies and young children may also show signs of:

Lethargy — child is weak or won’t wake up easily

Dehydration — no tears when crying, dry tongue, sunken eyes

Decreased or no urine

Seizures or fits

Excessive crying or irritability.

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