Another nine new suspected cases of dengue fever over a week-long period are being investigated.
As of 8 December, there have been 31 confirmed cases this year, with four new cases being confirmed last week. Another 36 cases this year, including 10 tested last week, were found to be negative. The results of 15 other cases of suspected dengue are pending.
According to Cayman Islands public health officials, of the 31 confirmed cases, 11 involved a travel history to countries where dengue is endemic, while 20 others had no travel history, suggesting that they acquired the dengue locally.
Of those confirmed cases, 22 of the patients were from West Bay, five from George Town and four from Bodden Town.
A dozen of the people confirmed to have dengue fever were hospitalised. Six people who were suspected to have dengue fever, but subsequently were found not to have the virus, were also hospitalised, along with six others, the results of whose cases are still pending.
Medical authorities in Cayman forward samples to a Caribbean Epidemiology Centre laboratory in Trinidad and Tobago. Lab results typically take up to 10 days to be finalised.
The dengue virus is spread by the Aedes aegypti mosquito. The mosquito must bite an infected person in the first week of symptoms and then survive for a further eight to 10 days in order to transmit the disease.