Senior health official issues dengue advisory

Chief Medical Officer Dr. Patrick Martin

ZIZ News…Oct. 7, 2010 – The Ministry of Health, Basseterre, in its ongoing monitoring of Dengue Fever informs residents of eight (8) confirmed cases of Dengue Fever compared two (2) confirmed cases in all of 2009. This evidence corroborates earlier clinical suspicion of an increase in Dengue activity in St. Kitts only. There has been no deaths.

According to the Chief Medical Officer Dr. Patrick Martin, tests were done in the months of July and September but there was a delay in the processing of samples collected in July due to an internal issue which has been corrected. Confirmatory tests are done at CAREC in Trinidad and Tobago and the turnaround time of tests done in September is normal.

The senior health official said there is no need for alarm as tests so far indicate the circulating virus to be Dengue Type 2; the same serotype as in previous outbreaks in 2001 and 2008. Persons affected in the past by Type 2 are likely immune for life. If this serotype pattern continues, the chance of a widespread outbreak is decreased. Surveillance will continue to detect any changes.

Aedes egypti mosquito

The advisory stated that an outbreak was anticipated and information in July and August noted heightened Dengue activity in neighboring islands and excessive rainfall – conditions that increased the risk of a local outbreak.

The Environmental Health Department, the Parks & Beaches Unit and the Solid Waste Management Corporation continue to give high priority to general cleanliness including mosquito source reduction. These efforts are negated by persistent, indiscriminate dumping.

The opportunity is taken to reiterate the usual and customary mosquito prevention and control actions mentioned in previous advisories from the Environmental Health Departments of the Community Health Service.

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