Barbados has recorded more than 600 cases of dengue fever after the most recent outbreak which started in September.
According to Chief Medical Officer, Dr The Most Honourable Kenneth George, the latest available data, up to October 16, reveals 647 suspected cases compared to 261 for the same period last year.
In a release via the Barbados Government Information Service, George said outbreaks also continued in other Caribbean islands.
In light of the recent showers, and the prediction by the Barbados Meteorological Services of more rains for the coming week, Barbadians are urged to maintain a high level of vigilance regarding their surroundings – at home, work, school, church, and in other settings.
The Chief Medical Officer said activities at this time should include:
source reduction – removal of sites and receptacles where stagnant water can collect. For example, the overflow dishes of plant pots in homes, plant cuttings, and discarded tyres;
using mosquito repellent on the skin;
wearing light-coloured, long-sleeved shirts and long pants, particularly during peak biting times – dusk and dawn;
using mosquito nets over infant beds, cribs, carriers, and strollers;
and installing window and door screens to keep out mosquitoes.
George reminded members of the public of the symptoms associated with this condition – an unexplained fever, headaches, muscle and joint pains, vomiting, abdominal pain and a characteristic skin rash.
Any person exhibiting fever and any of the other symptoms mentioned is advised to seek medical attention. A blood test will be required for confirmation of dengue fever.
Fogging efforts will continue in areas of reported suspected and confirmed dengue cases. The Ministry of Health and Wellness will publish its fogging schedule on a weekly basis. Members of the public are advised to report any increases in mosquito sightings to the environmental health department of the nearest polyclinic.
To date, there have been no deaths attributed to dengue fever. (PR/SAT)