Dengue on the rise in The Bahamas

NASSAU – The Bahamas is the latest Caribbean Community (CARICOM) country to report an increase in dengue cases with one person being treated at the intensive care unit at hospital.

“In 2011, The Bahamas experienced a severe outbreak of dengue fever and at that time, a significant number of the population were confirmed positive for serotype 1 and 2 presenting to our clinics and hospitals with mild symptoms of dengue.

“Today, we have lab confirmation of a case with serotype 3, which is of concern. This means that if someone who has experienced dengue type 1 and 2 from the previous outbreak becomes infected with type 3 they are at serious risk for severe illness and hospitalisation,” said Health and Wellness Minister Dr Michael Darville.

He said that there are now 16 cases, with three in the hospital and one of those in the intensive care unit. Health officials reported three cases last week.

The Health Minister said that all of the cases are on New Providence, with one suspected case on Abaco.

“The public should be aware that my ministry’s National Communicable Disease Surveillance Unit and Department of Public Health teams in New Providence and Abaco are actively monitoring these positive cases and family members.

“The public can rest assured that all health care facilities are on high alert for dengue cases,” Dr Darville said, adding that the Department of Environmental Health Services is hard at work to continue vector control.

Dengue is spread by the Aedes aegypti mosquito and the symptoms of dengue include headache, fever, nausea, vomiting, rash, aches and pains such as eye pain, muscle, bone and joint pain.

Apart from The Bahamas, other CARICOM countries reporting dengue cases are Suriname Belize, Guyana, St Lucia  and Jamaica. (CMC)

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