Fri | Dec 4, 2020

St Lucia records increase in dengue fever cases

Published:Sunday | October 4, 2020 | 11:51 AM
Contributed photo

CASTRIES, St Lucia, CMC – Health officials in St Lucia say they have seen an increase in cases of the mosquito-borne dengue fever since an outbreak was declared in August.

To date, St Lucia has recorded a total of 503 confirmed cases of dengue, but so far there have been no deaths.

Although cases have been identified throughout the island, most of the confirmed infections are concentrated in the northern region in areas such as Castries, Bexon, and Central Babonneau.

Fifty-three percent of the cases are male and the age group 5-14-years accounts for approximately 39 percent of cases, of which 57 percent are male.

Across the island, all four serotypes of dengue have been known to circulate, and for 2020 serotypes 2 and 3 have been identified in the population, accounting for 14 percent and 3 percent of the cases respectively.

Dengue fever is a mosquito-borne disease transmitted by the bite of the aedes aegypti mosquito.

Persons infected with the virus develop signs and symptoms on average five days after being bitten by the mosquito.

The most common symptoms of dengue fever include fever, headache, pain behind the eyes, muscle and joint pains, and a red, itchy rash.

Characteristic in children is the appearance of glands to the neck.

The Ministry of Health and Wellness has been engaging in activities aimed at the reduction and control of the spread of the fever.

Such activities include increased public education, clean up campaigns, islandwide fogging, and the inspection of premises with complaints.

Follow The Gleaner on Twitter and Instagram @JamaicaGleaner and on Facebook @GleanerJamaica. Send us a message on WhatsApp at 1-876-499-0169 or email us at onlinefeedback@gleanerjm.com or editors@gleanerjm.com.