St Lucia’s dengue outbreak worsens

St Lucia has recorded almost 900 dengue cases since declaring an outbreak of the mosquito-borne illness in August.

Aedes aegypti Mosquito. Close up a Mosquito sucking human blood,Mosquito Vector-borne diseases,Chikungunya.Dengue fever.Rift Valley fever.Yellow fever.Zika.Mosquito on skin

According to the Ministry of Health and Wellness, St Lucia has 888 confirmed and 365 suspected dengue fever cases.

The highest number of confirmed cases is in the northern part of the island, while the capital, Castries, accounted for 28 per cent of the cases.

“Although cases have been identified throughout the island, most of the confirmed cases are concentrated in the northern region in areas such as Castries, Gros Islet and Central Babonneau,” said national epidemiologist, Dr Michelle Francois.

According to the ministry, children under 14 account for the bulk of the cases, followed by the 15-24 age group.

“To date, two strains of dengue viruses, DENV3 and DENV2, have been identified as being in circulation in St Lucia during this outbreak,” said the ministry in a release.

In its mild form, dengue fever may present with fever, headache, pain behind the eyes, muscle and joint pains and a red itchy rash.

To date, at least three persons have died from dengue on the island.