29 confirmed dengue cases for October – Minister De Weever: island still under epidemic

POSTED: 12/11/13 6:39 PM

St. Maarten– The Collective Preventive Services (CPS), a government agency under the Ministry of Public Health, says the country remains in a dengue epidemic phase, and residents are advised to continually be active in taking measures to mitigate the mosquito population.

For the month of October, there were a total of 29 confirmed dengue cases while 102 lab requests were made.  The number of confirmed cases for the last two months was 53 for September, and 68 for August.

From January to October 2013 the cumulative number of confirmed dengue cases stands at 255.  The type of dengue circulating throughout the country is DENV4 (Dengue Virus Type 4).

Vector control activities continue to be executed by the ministry by promptly searching indoors, yards, and gardens for mosquito breeding sites.

Residents with dengue fever symptoms are requested to consult with their family physician who can then refer them to the lab for a laboratory test that would confirm if they have dengue or not, and to give the proper advice to ensure a healthy recovery while avoiding other health risks.

Dengue symptoms include high fever, severe headache, backache, joint and eye pain, nausea and vomiting, and rash. Once a person has developed a fever, the infectious period lasts for about a week.  Most people recover without any complications, using pain relievers, liquid intake (preferably water or juice) and bed rest.  Avoid self-medication and consult your physician.

CPS is calling on the populace to take daily actions to eliminate mosquito breeding opportunities around their home and workplace.  On a daily basis check containers such as buckets and water tanks for larvae and eliminate the breeding source.  Water tanks should be properly secured and screened to prevent mosquito’s from entering. If there aren’t any containers with water for mosquitoes to lay the larvae there won’t be any adult mosquitoes.

Dengue Fever is transmitted by the female vector Aedes Aegypti mosquito. The Aedes Aegypti mosquito is distinguished by its markings. The body of the mosquito has alternate black and white horizontal stripes. The Aedes Aegypti mosquito lays her eggs in clear (clean) stagnant water. Within eight days the mosquito can complete its life cycle from egg, to larvae to pupae and to adult mosquito.

Even after you have cleaned-up your yard and surroundings, it is recommended for persons to walk around their surroundings on a weekly basis and after every rain event to eliminate all possible breeding sites.

Minister of Public Health Cornelius de Weever’s “Get Checked” campaign is in line with the urgent appeal for residents, and business owners, to check-in and around their homes, and businesses in order to reduce breeding sites of the Aedes Aegypti mosquito, and making them mosquito-free zones.

CPS is urgently calling on the community especially homeowners to be proactive in implementing mosquito preventive measures on their own property in order to prevent vector borne diseases.  Persons are urgently recommended to keep their homes, yards, neighborhoods, open lots, and work environment free from mosquito breeding sites.

Mobilize family, friends, neighbors and colleagues to collectively take actions to eliminate mosquito breeding sources.

Homeowners can reduce the number of areas where adult mosquitoes can find shelter by cutting down weeds adjacent to the house foundation and in their yards, and mowing the lawn regularly.

On a daily basis check plants in your yard for mosquito breeding sites, keep vegetation properly trim, and avoid overgrown vegetation.

Check around construction sites or do-it-yourself improvements to ensure that proper backfilling and grading is realized to prevent drainage problems which can be a source for standing water.

When out during dusk and dawn hours, use mosquito repellent or wear proper clothing to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes.

An increase in the mosquito population puts all residents and businesses at risk. Call for information on the Aedes Aegypti mosquito breeding sites and respective preventive measures at 542-2078 or 542-3003 or visit the Facebook Collective Prevention Services or email them at surveillance@sintmaartengov.org

Inform CPS about your challenges in eliminating mosquito breeding sites in and around your homes/establishments.


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