‘Above normal’ increase in dengue cases in St Vincent and the Grenadines

Health authorities in St Vincent and the Grenadines have warned against a possible outbreak of the dengue fever and urged the population to take all preventative measures to eradicate the breeding grounds of the Aedes Aegypti mosquito.

In a statement, the Ministry of Health, Wellness and the Environment said there has been an “above normal’ increase in dengue cases” and that it was “taking all necessary steps to prevent a severe outbreak of dengue fever in St Vincent and the Grenadines”.

Not typical

It said that the island on July 25 recorded 48 laboratory-confirmed cases of dengue, and that as of August 25, the cases had increased to 74.

“This increase is not typical for this period, and Vincentians are urged to take the requisite precautions to prevent further spread of the illness,” the ministry said, noting that laboratory-confirmed dengue cases for January to August 2020 “have not been confined to any particular health district.

“However, the majority of cases have been reported in the Pembroke Health District which includes communities between Campden Park and Barrouallie. Laboratory confirmed cases recorded to date are between the ages of six months and 86 years old.”

It said 46 of these cases have resulted in hospitalisation.

Dengue is a flu-like illness spread by the Aedes Aegypti mosquito. Symptoms of dengue usually begin four to 10 days after infection and include a high fever, headache, vomiting, muscle and joint pains, and a skin rash.

Persistent fever, vomiting, and abdominal pain or tenderness, or bleeding, are warning signs which suggest that dengue fever disease is taking a more severe course.