Sun | Sep 15, 2019

CARPHA urges region to prepare for possible severe outbreak of dengue fever

Published:Friday | January 18, 2019 | 11:52 AM

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, CMC – The Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) has called for health officials across the region to prepare for the possibility of a severe outbreak of the mosquito-borne dengue fever.

In a statement Thursday, CARPHA said the last major regional outbreak of dengue occurred in 2009. 

“Since then, the region has experienced two large outbreaks of mosquito-borne diseases, Chikungunya in 2014 and Zika in 2016, which are unlikely to reoccur soon.”

The regional agency also said that “disease modelling predicts that another regional outbreak of dengue may occur in the near future,” adding that last year,  Latin America showed an increase in the number of dengue cases. 

CARPHA has also pointed to the recent outbreak of dengue in Jamaica saying that it has elevated the level of concern in other Caribbean islands. 

“The Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) is, therefore, advising countries to implement enhanced measures to reduce mosquito breeding and prevent the spread of disease.”

Dengue is a flu-like illness that affects infants, young children and adults.

Symptoms typically begin four to 10 days after infection and include a high fever, headache, vomiting, muscle and joint pains, and a characteristic skin rash. 

This illness can evolve to severe dengue, characterised by potentially deadly complications, such as internal hemorrhaging, intense and continuous abdominal pain or tenderness and persistent vomiting.

In some cases, dengue may be severe and cause death.

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