Ministry of Health issues Dengue warning

The Ministry of Health reminds all that we are still at risk for diseases such as dengue fever (transmitted by mosquitoes), leptospirosis (transmitted by rats and other infected mammals) flu related illnesses and gastrointestinal illnesses, especially given the intermittent rains throughout what is normally our dry season. Dengue fever is spread by the Aedes aegypti mosquito.
Signs of dengue fever include, fever, joint pains, headache, pain behind the eyes, lower back pain, muscle pain, occasional vomiting. Persons with any of those symptoms are asked to seek care at the nearest medical facility.
The Ministry of Health is currently investigating a possible case of dengue disease which led to untimely demise. The definitive cause is yet to be confirmed by CAREC. Dengue hemorrhagic fever is a severe complication which sometimes develops from dengue fever. Persons with hemorrhagic symptoms may note bleeding in the gums and mucus membranes, the skin, urine, stool and vomits. In some cases, persons suffering from dengue fever may become more severely ill after the fever subsides.
The risk of developing dengue hemorrhagic fever increases when a person who has previously been infected with one type of dengue virus gets re-infected with a different type of dengue virus. CAREC, the Regional Laboratory, has indicated that currently three serotypes of the dengue virus are in circulation. However, all four serotypes have been identified in St. Lucia at varying points in time, increasing our risk of developing Dengue Hemorrhagic fever. Dengue fever can be prevented by
Preventing the breeding of mosquitoes in and around the home by using sand instead of water in flower vases; covering all drums and water receptacles; keeping your surroundings free of plastics and containers which retain water and fixing damaged guttering which harbor water.
Preventing mosquitoes from biting persons by wearing long sleeved clothing; by sparingly using insect repellants; use of mosquito nets on windows and over beds; sparing use of insecticides in the home can also be considered.)
The Ministry of Health has alerted all medical personnel to increase their vigilance for signs of dengue, leptospirosis, influenza and gastrointestinal diseases including the threat of cholera. We have also increased environmental health and health education activities surrounding these diseases.
The public is advised to seek prompt medical attention if any of these diseases is suspected.

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