Seven new cases of Dengue have been confirmed in the Cayman Islands since Monday, 4 Nov., according to a press release issued Friday evening by the Public Health Department.

Five of those are believed to have been acquired within the Cayman Islands and the other two involved patients who had travelled to a country with year-round transmission of Dengue.

Symptoms of dengue include:

high fever

headache,

pain behind the eyes,

joint and muscle pain

rash (may not be visible on dark-skinned persons)

This means there have now been 15 confirmed cases of Dengue confirmed in Cayman, including nine believed to have been locally transmitted and six imported cases.

“The Public Health Department’s Surveillance Unit continues to deploy systematic and enhanced surveillance measures, working closely with government and private sector physicians to review reports of suspected dengue,” according to the department’s press release.

Confirmed cases involved patients across Grand Cayman, including East End, George Town, West Bay and Bodden Town, according to the Public Health Department.

Twenty-eight people have been admitted to the Cayman Islands Hospital and Health City Cayman Islands with symptoms that potentially might be Dengue and 116 samples have been sent to the Caribbean Public Health Agency for testing. Twenty-five results were received since 4 Nov., which confirmed the new cases.

Transmission, infection, treatment

The dengue virus is an infectious disease that causes cyclical outbreaks every three years or so, and is transmitted through the bite of Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus

Symptoms may come on as early as four days or as late as three weeks following an infection.

There is no vaccine or specific medication to treat dengue.

Prevention

People travelling to countries where dengue is transmitted year-round should take preventative measures such as:

using a repellent,

wearing protective clothing, and

staying indoors during early dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active.

For more information, contact the Public Health Department on 244-2648.

For advice on mosquito control, contact the MRCU on 949-2557 in Grand Cayman, or 948-2223 on Cayman Brac; and Department of Environmental Health on 949-6696 in Grand Cayman, or 948-2321 in Cayman Brac.

Controlling places where mosquitoes breed

Controlling the places where mosquitos breed is also vital to keeping insect numbers as low as possible.

After a rainstorm, persons should quickly remove stagnant water in outdoor and household settings.

As a weekly habit, persons should 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 in used. These include open bottles and tins, watering cans, buckets, empty paint tins and old vehicle tyres.