Update on Dengue Fever

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The Ministry of Health has reported that for the first 39 weeks of this year, there have been 126 cases of Dengue Fever and six cases of Dengue Haemorrhagic Fever confirmed by laboratory testing and two deaths have been recorded.

The Environmental Health Department has implemented an integrated mosquito control programme aimed at reducing the mosquito population across the island.

The programme contains 11 components including: house-to-house inspections, investigation of mosquito complaints, along with confirmed and suspected cases of dengue fever;???? as well as inspection of tyre shops and plant nurseries.??

Environmental Health Vector Control Specialists are working closely with the utility companies to inspect underground junction boxes.?? In addition, training in vector control measures for community members at public and private facilities remains an important feature of the programme.

Management of these activities has been strengthened through the Department’s acquiring a Geographic Information System.??

According to Chief Environmental Health Officer, Tyrone Applewhaite, "the new technology is working extremely well, enabling more efficient use of resources, and allowing the Department to target specific high risk areas for fogging and routine reduction of breeding sites".??

Moreover, the Ministry of Health is urging Barbadians who are experiencing symptoms of Dengue Fever, including sudden high fever, severe headaches, pain behind the eyes, muscle and joint pain; or symptoms of Dengue Haemorrhagic Fever such as bleeding from the nose, mouth and gums, frequent vomiting or difficulty breathing, to seek medical attention immediately.

In addition, Barbadians are reminded to check their premises weekly for possible mosquito breeding places and to cover water containers such as buckets, small plastic containers and drums, or to dispose of these in a proper manner, in order to reduce mosquito breeding.??

Information on how to handle vector control or dengue fever prevention issues may be obtained by calling the Ministry of Health at 467-9366 or the Polyclinics at the following numbers: Black Rock at 438-9624; Maurice Byer at 422-5052; Randal Phillips at 428-3324; St. Philip at 423-4572; Warrens at 425-2996; and the Winston Scott at 227-7766.

In 2010 there were 570 cases of Dengue Fever, 32 cases of Dengue Haemorrhagic Fever and four deaths.

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