As of 16 November, the Caribbean Epidemiology Centre in Trinidad and Tobago, known as CAREC, had confirmed that of the 59 samples from suspected dengue sufferers in Cayman it had received since the start of this year, 26 were positive for dengue, 10 are pending and 23 were negative.
Since the last official update on 10 November, 10 suspected cases have been reclassified as confirmed dengue cases. There have also been three new suspected cases since then, the Cayman Islands Public Health Department reported.
Ten of the confirmed cases involve people who have travelled overseas to countries where dengue is endemic, while 15 others are believed to have caught the virus locally. One other person has an unknown travel history, as the Public Health Department has been unable to reach the patient to confirm if he or she had travelled overseas.
One of the confirmed cases was from a private facility; notification and results came last week, although the case occurred four weeks ago, a press release from the Public Health Department stated.
Nineteen of the people who have been confirmed to have dengue live in West Bay, four live in George Town and three live in Bodden Town.
Fifteen people suspected of having dengue were hospitalised. Nine of those subsequently turned out to have the virus, two were negative and the results of the other four are pending.
It usually takes seven to 10 days for the CAREC lab to return results on suspected cases.
Dengue is spread by the Aedes aegypti female mosquito, which is commonly found in and around people’s homes.
Health officials advise people to empty any containers that can hold standing water around their homes, like old tyres, tarpaulin covers, pots and pans and plant saucers, and to wear an insect repellent and clothing that fully covers the skin if going outdoors at periods when mosquitos typically bite – in the late afternoon.
This year has seen the largest number of dengue cases reported in Cayman for several years. In 2010, there were seven confirmed cases, three imported and four local, while last year, two cases were reported with one being contracted locally and the other imported. In 2008 and 2009, there were two imported cases each year.