Three sick with suspected dengue

Health officials are warning the
public to clear standing water from their yards and homes after three people
were hospitalised with suspected dengue fever this month.

Blood samples from the patients
have been sent to the Caribbean Epidemiology Centre in Trinidad to ascertain if
any or all of the three had dengue.

All three were suffering from acute
viral infections, but it will be a week before tests show whether they had
dengue. They have since been released from hospital and none are currently infectious,
according to the Medical Officer for Health Dr. Kiran Kumar.

“They were treated and fully
recovered. The patients are no longer infectious even if they had dengue as the
virus stays in the blood of patients for only a week after they develop the
fever. There have been no more reports of similar cases,” Dr. Kumar said.

CAREC will analyse the sample and
report back on the results within the next week, he said.

In the meantime, he advised members
of the public to take steps to keep mosquitoes away from their homes and workplaces.

Symptoms of dengue fever include high
fever, severe headache, backache, joint and eye pain, nausea and vomiting, and
rash. Most people recover without any complications, using pain relievers and
bed rest.

Infected aedes aegyptii mosquitoes
carry the virus and transmit it to humans.

Minister of Health Mark Scotland
chaired an interagency meeting on Tuesday to review the Islands’ preventative
measures.

“While dengue is endemic to several
Caribbean and Latin American countries, the Cayman Islands have so far been
fortunate to have low occurrences of dengue cases due to the excellent control
measures of the Mosquito Research and Control Unit and the Department of Environmental
Health as well as the vigilance of the Public Health Department,” Mr. Scotland
said.

It is estimated that more than 100
million cases of dengue occur globally, with cases reported regionally in Bahamas,
Barbados, Belize, Honduras, Nicaragua, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Trinidad and Tobago
and Jamaica, he said.

Staff from the Mosquito Research
and Control Unit and the Department of Environmental Health said their departments
were already taking extra measures to control the aedes aegyptii mosquito.

“People can greatly assist in
reducing the local aedes aegyptii population by clearing their yards of
containers that can hold water as these are favourite breeding sites for this
mosquito,” said MRCU director Dr. William Petrie said.

For more advice on how to control mosquitoes in your yard contact
the MRCU on 949-2557 in Grand Cayman or 948-2223 on Cayman Brac; and DEH on
949-6696 in Grand Cayman or 948-2321 in Cayman Brac.

mossieSTORY

Aedes Aegypti mosquito that spreads dengue fever.
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