Dengue Update – Outbreak Subsiding

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Based on figures gathered up to October 30, the Ministry of Health (MOH) has indicated that the dengue situation appears to be returning to the "usual low levels of confirmed cases".??

This decline has reportedly been sustained over the past five weeks.

According to the MOH report: ??"The numbers reported for October have been significantly lower than September and the number of cases for October does not represent ???outbreak levels’. ??The number of confirmed cases per week also show that the country has managed to control the outbreak, so far."

?? The Ministry of Health has stated that there have been no additional confirmed deaths as a result of the illness and the number of dengue hemorrhagic fever cases reported from the Queen Elizabeth Hospital was also declining.?? The report noted that locally, dengue occurs at very low levels throughout the year and both active and passive surveillance systems were in place to detect and manage an outbreak.

"Environmental Health Vector Control specialists are working closely with field environmental health officers in employing geographic information systems to more specifically identify and target high risk areas for fogging and routine reduction of breeding sites. ??In addition, Environmental Health Officers and Assistants conduct routine house-to-house inspections. These inspections were enhanced during the outbreak period and community-based approaches to reducing mosquito breeding sites were employed," the official said.

Environmental Health Officers conduct training in vector control measures for community members at private and public facilities including schools and business places, investigate mosquito-related complaints, and have increased fogging to reduce the presence of the adult mosquito.

The Environmental Health Department of the Ministry of health is also working closely with the island’s utility companies to inspect underground utility boxes to ensure that these are free of the mosquito vector.

The Health Promotion team has also conducted extensive television, radio and print media advertisements to educate persons on the "best methods" of reducing mosquito breeding sites around their homes. ??To appeal to the younger generation, ads have also been sent via text messaging through one of the island’s leading phone network agencies.

Author: Ministry of Health/BGIS
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