A Cayman Islands resident with no recent travel history has become ill with dengue, an infectious disease that can be deadly, according to the Health Services Authority.
If a mosquito bites an infected person, the insect can then infect the next person it bites. Symptoms may appear between four days and three weeks after infection, the HSA advised.
Symptoms include high fever, headache, pain behind the eyes, joint and muscle pain, and rash, which may not be visible on people with dark skin.
Individuals presenting such symptoms should see a doctor, drink lots of water and refrain from medications containing aspirin.
To avoid dengue infection, people should use insect repellant, wear protective clothing and try to stay indoors around dawn and dusk when mosquitos are most active. There is no vaccine or medication to treat dengue.
Cayman’s confirmed case comes as outbreaks have affected neighbouring countries, including Cuba and Honduras.
“If a person who was infected with dengue in the past is infected a second time, the potential is increased for dengue haemorrhagic fever or shock syndrome to develop, which is a more severe, life-threatening form of the disease,” the HSA release said.
The authority provided the following tips to prevent proliferation of mosquito breeding:
- After a rainstorm, quickly remove stagnant water in outdoor and household settings.
- As a weekly habit, change the water in vases, clear the water in saucers under potted plants, and ensure air-conditioner drip trays are free of stagnant water.
- Outdoor objects capable of holding water should be kept empty, and preferably disposed of or put into dry storage if not being used. Think about open bottles and tins, watering cans, buckets, empty paint tins and old vehicle tyres.
To contact the Public Health Department, call 244-2889 or 244-2621, or Faith Hospital on 948-2243. More information on dengue can be found at https://www.cdc.gov/features/avoid-dengue/index.html.