Dengue fever alert
THE REGION HAS BEEN EXPERIENCING AN INCREASE IN DENGUE TYPE THREE.
Following advisories from the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), and more recently the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO), the Department of Health and Wellness is advising the public to take all precautionary measures to safeguard against the spread of dengue.
Dengue is a flu-like illness that affects infants, young children, and adults. The symptoms typically begin four to 10 days after infection, and include a high fever, headache, vomiting, muscle and joint pains, and a characteristic skin rash. It is spread by the Aedes Aegypti mosquito (an insect with black and white legs) which mostly bites in the day and likes to breed in and around homes.
The Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Merlene Fredericks, explained that while the dengue fever alert is normally raised closer to or during the rainy season, recent developments within the region have prompted the alert at this time.
There are various types of dengue fever and that means that persons can get the illness more than once.
Saint Lucia last had a dengue epidemic in 2013, with type four of the illness being the most predominant. There were also dengue epidemics in 2010 and 2011 where types one, two and four were experienced.
The type being reported most recently, is type three—one that the Chief Medical Officer says has not been seen in Saint Lucia since 2009. This she says, is of concern to the public.
The Chief Medical Officer is asking the public to be on guard and to destroy all sites that would encourage the breeding of the Aedes Aegypti Mosquito.