Health Ministry Issues Dengue Advisory

Aedes egypti mosquito

Ministry of Health Press Release…July 22, 2010, Basseterre – The Ministries of Health in St. Kitts and Nevis are monitoring the Dengue Fever situation in the region. There is no outbreak in the Federation at this time. In view of the excessive rainfall, prevention and control measures must be given the highest priority.

Residents of St. Kitts and Nevis are advised that there is no need for alarm but to continue practising the prevention and control actions mentioned in previous advisories from the Environmental Health Departments of the Community Health Service.

· The most effective way to prevent Dengue is to destroy mosquito breeding sites.
· Families, neighbours and community groups are encouraged to search inside and outside homes, and also in empty lots, for any container that can collect water. Pay particular attention to flower pots, pans, buckets, cans, tyres, coconut shells, Styrofoam containers, and plastic bags.
· Any container with larvae or “wrigglers” must be drained.
· Containers being used for water storage must be tightly sealed.
· Discarded containers must be collected and bagged for proper disposal.
· Households may also invest in mosquito nets and window/door screens.

Residents travelling to affected countries can adopt the following measures:
· Apply insect repellant to the body but only after carefully reading of the instructions on the label.
· Wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants during the day.

About Dengue Fever

· Dengue Fever is caused by four distinct types of Dengue Viruses which are transmitted from person to person via the bite of an infected Aedes egypti mosquito. This mosquito tends to bite mainly during the daytime. Adults are recognized by black and white strips on the legs.
· Aedes egypti is not a swamp mosquito; it lives close to humans (a domesticated mosquito) in any object that holds water.
· Symptoms of Dengue Fever include fever, severe headache, pain behind the eyes, joint and muscle pain and a rash.
· Most cases can easily be managed at home with rest, lots of fluids, and pain relief using Paracetamol, not Aspirin or Ibuprofen. Full recovery occurs in less than one week.
· In rare cases, there may be fever and bleeding. This is a true emergency. Affected persons must present to hospital immediately.

Contact your health care provider if there are questions or concerns. Persons seeking additional information about the control of mosquitoes may contact the Environmental Health Departments in both St. Kitts and Nevis.

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