Dengue fever case identified

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 taking medications containing aspirin.

Medical Officer of Health Dr. Samuel Williams-Rodriguez advised, “The best way to avoid dengue is to protect yourself from mosquito bites.”

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 dengue virus is transmitted by the bite of Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes.

To contact the Public Health Department, call 244-2889 or 244-2621, or Faith Hospital on the Brac on 948-2243. More information on dengue can be found at www.cdc.gov/features/avoid-dengue/index.html.

 

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