Residents of the Caribbean may be faced with a possible serious outbreak of dengue fever in the region, according to the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA).
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“Although dengue is not new to the region, we need to gear up for the possibility of a severe outbreak. This virus has been increasing in frequency over the past 30 years. Reports from Latin America elsewhere show markedly increased dengue in recent months, so we in the Caribbean can expect it will soon be here,” CARPHA Executive Director Dr. James Hospedales said during an address at Caribbean Mosquito Awareness Week.
CARPHA urge countries across the Caribbean to employ strict measures to adequately stem mosquito breeding. However, the organization has said nationals should “gear-up for the possibility of a major outbreak of dengue fever in 2018.”
CARPHA and the Pan American Health Organization and World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) discover, through research, that drums and tires are the main mosquito breeding sources in the region.
“We need to clean up our surroundings. The two most important things to manage mosquito populations in our Caribbean countries are to manage water storage drums and tanks, and properly dispose of used vehicle tires to prevent mosquitos breeding,” Hospedales said.
The Trinidad-based health agency stated that covering drums and tanks, checking guttering, removing stagnant water sources are some ways to eliminate breeding sites.
Dengue is a flu-like illness with the following symptoms: high fever, headache, vomiting, muscle and joint pains, and a characteristic skin rash. The symptoms surface four to ten days after infection.
Dengue is transported by are the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which is also responsible for Zika and Chikungunya diseases.