PAHO Advises Region to Manage Dengue Outbreaks and Save Lives

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Antigua News Room

The Pan American Health Organization Representative for Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean Countries, Dr. Yitades Gebre, is urging ministries of health and other sectors to scale up efforts to prevent the occurrence of severe Dengue Fever outbreaks in the region.

“Since the start of the rainy season, increased dengue activity above the seasonal threshold have been reported from the islands of Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and recently from Grenada,” Dr. Gebre reported.

“The French Department territories Martinique, Guadeloupe and Saint Barthelemy, continue to experience high level of transmission and hospital admissions. In the majority of the cases, children under 15 years have been affected disproportionately and seek hospital admissions for severe Dengue.”

Saint Lucia has recorded 237 cases to date, compared to 20 cases in 2019, with 29% of the total cases being admitted to hospital. Children under the age of 15 account for 38% of admissions.

 

Martinique recorded 1800-2000 cases and 5 deaths, with children accounting for 23% of hospital admissions.  In Guadeloupe, there were 590 suspected dengue cases in the last three weeks.

Dr. Gebre is cautioning that “the increase in dengue cases in the last three weeks and reported deaths calls for immediate actions to be undertaken to slow down the dengue virus transmission in affected communities and minimize its impact on people’s lives. Ministries of health in collaboration with the communities  need to intensify disease surveillance activities, both epidemiological and of the insect vector, and strengthen health systems to ensure early detection and prompt management of dengue cases without jeopardizing the gains of the past eight months in the fight against COVID-19.”

The PAHO Representative further stated that “the policies, strategies and plans for dealing with both diseases at all levels of the health care delivery systems should be given priority at this time within the larger context of national health disaster management frameworks involving all relevant sectors.

“PAHO is collaborating with officials in the affected Eastern Caribbean countries and monitoring the situation and mobilizing resources to assist the member states on surveillance, laboratory diagnosis, clinical management, and integrated vector control management, including health promotion and risk communication.”

Dengue Fever is transmitted mainly by the bite of Aedes Aegypti mosquito. Dengue infection is also indirectly impacted by climate crisis due to the projected increases in temperature and humidity; and fluctuations in rainfall with seasons of heavy rainfall interrupted by long, dry spells.

Human activities also contribute significantly to the spread of dengue. The storage of water in containers which are uncovered and/or incorrectly managed and the indiscriminate dumping of unwanted receptacles such as used tyres, empty bottles, etc. provide breeding sites for the mosquitoes. Individuals and communities are asked to actively participate in reducing the spread of dengue by accessing health care early, through the management of water storage containers and the cleaning up of their premises and disposal of unwanted containers.

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3 COMMENTS

  1. Nature is a #Beast!
    The transmission, infection, hospitalization and death rates appears to be giving COVID-19 a run for its money, and looks like it has surpassed, COVID in some Communities!

    Nature is a #Beast!

  2. To the Government if Antigua, I’m asking for a friend.

    What is the plan to move forward !?! Covid isn’t going anywhere on any particular day!?! So do we keep looking for ways to keep the people locked up? If so, until when…. any particular day in sight !?! Because the numbers have been down to zero for many weeks then increased, then decreased, that’s just how it is and will be, because covid is here… not leaving… it’s something our world now has..: so HOW DO WE DEAL!?! Cause we can’t stay locked up forever… people will all start traveling and life will go on !?!

    Will we continue To have people quarantined for 14 days… many countries have done away with this now that they are understanding covid.

    Many countries have found safe ways to continue daily existence when In Antigua the banks, the financial backbone of our country, still do not have regular hours.

    It seems like most of our resources are going into scaring the public, forcing the public into submission, threatening with fines and jail time just for simply their human existence.

    Maybe Antigua leaders should themselves, find a source of education concerning the transmission of the covid 19 virus, the potency of the virus today, things to do once the virus is contracted, BecUse the fact is, IT IS A VIRUS. You can get it, survive and move on.

    Once the leaders have this education, then maybe they can have zoom constituency meetings or physical constituency meetings over a few nights to educate the public. Following protocols of course.

    This is just a thought. Since it seems like the leaders of the country are stuck back in March 2020, when so much progress has been made in studying the virus and how people can CONTINUE TO LIVE A HEALTHY AND SAFE NEW NORMAL LIFESTYLE.

    Please let the people Of Antigua live A healthy and safe new normal life style void of the constant hysterics, fear, dictatorship behavior and threats being spewed every week by the government to lock up and fine people who are already under employed.

    Antigua’s government insist on driving the fear of God into its citizens by threatening and keeping them isolated from normal life every week.

    We already have God! What we need is efficient governance.

    …. just asking for a friend … smh

  3. @Miss Mal…

    …I don’t know, what to say!
    …’Cause, I’m not answering, for the Government! No way!
    …however, at the end of the day!
    …life, must go on, come what may!
    …even though, they’re activating the Matrix, without delay!
    …there’s very little, the People can do, short of a Revolution!
    …to, rectify these fluid, and constantly morphing situations!
    …but, between you and me
    …Education is the #Key,
    …as, We realize, the aim of,
    …those, #Who’re now, the Molders, shakers and mover
    …of, Our modern society!
    …even though, they claim allegiance to a God above?
    …however, to many of Us, this is pure fallacy,
    …under, the guise of Democracy, …or, any other forms of HUEman governing bodies!
    …for, as you have stated so eloquently!
    …that, what is needed is efficiency!
    …and, we need it, quite urgently!
    …to, move Us out of, this purgatory!
    …ah, but! This is also, a part of history!
    …a pass with, confusion, violence, death and misery!

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