GREAT BAY– The Section General Health Care (SGHC) of the Collective Preventive Services (CPS) has reported to Minister of Public Health Cornelius de Weever that for two consecutive weeks there has been five or more persons infected with dengue fever, therefore leading to the minister declaring a dengue epidemic.
The total number of confirmed cases for 2013 from January up to the month of July is 101 cases.
As a response to the increase of dengue numbers vector control activities has been stepped up by the ministry; prompt response to the search of yards and gardens for mosquito breeding sites; stepped up media campaign; fogging activity is also planned as part of this response and will commence as soon as possible once all logistics are in place.
Fogging activity is kept to a minimum in order to prevent the mosquito population from developing immunity to the chemicals that are deployed, and therefore is only used when really necessary. The most effective way to eliminate and/or keep the mosquito population at bay is for every member of the community taking their own personal responsibility and making sure that their own yards and surroundings are kept clean by following the recommendations of the Ministry of Public Health.
Residents with dengue fever symptoms are requested to consult with their family physician who can then refer them to the lab for a laboratory test that would confirm if they have dengue or not, and to give the proper advice to ensure a healthy recovery avoiding other health risks.
Dengue symptoms include high fever, severe headache, backache, joint and eye pain, nausea and vomiting, and rash. Once a person has developed a fever, the infectious period lasts for about a week. Most people recover without any complications, using pain relievers, liquid intake (preferably water or juice) and bed rest. Avoid self-medication and consult your physician.
SGHC is calling on the populace to take daily actions to eliminate mosquito breeding opportunities around their home and workplace. On a daily basis check containers such as buckets and water tanks for larvae and eliminate the breeding source. Water tanks should be properly secure and screened to prevent mosquito’s from entering. If there aren’t any containers with water for mosquitoes to lay the larvae there won’t be any adult mosquitoes.
Dengue fever is transmitted by the female vector Aedes Aegypti mosquito. This mosquito is distinguished by its markings. The body of the mosquito has alternate black and white horizontal stripes. The 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.
Even after cleaning the yard and surroundings, it is recommended for persons to walk around their surroundings on a weekly basis and after every rain event to eliminate all possible breeding sites.
Minister of Public Health Cornelius de Weever’s, ‘Get Checked” campaign, is in line with the urgent appeal for residents, and business owners, to check-in and around their homes, and businesses in order to reduce breeding sites of the Aedes Aegypti mosquito, and making them mosquito-free zones.
SHGC is urgently calling on the community especially homeowners to be proactive in implementing mosquito preventive measures on their own property in order to prevent vector borne diseases. Persons are urgently recommended to keep their homes, yards, neighborhoods, open lots and work environment free from mosquito breeding sites.
Mobilize family, friends, neighbors and colleagues to collectively take actions to eliminate mosquito breeding sources.
Homeowners can reduce the number of areas where adult mosquitoes can find shelter by cutting down weeds adjacent to the house foundation and in their yards, and mowing the lawn regularly.
On a daily basis check plants in the yard for mosquito breeding sites, keep vegetation properly trim, and avoid overgrown vegetation.
Check around construction sites or do-it-yourself improvements to ensure that proper backfilling and grading is realized to prevent drainage problems which can be a source for standing water.
When out during dusk and dawn hours, use mosquito repellent or wear proper clothing to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes.
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 email firstname.lastname@example.org