Barbados denies dengue fever outbreak
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, CMC – Barbados health authorities have denied an outbreak of dengue fever in the country even as it urged citizens to step up surveillance for the mosquito vector on their premises, particularly in light of an alert from the Trinidad-based Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) of the possibility of a regional dengue outbreak this year.
The outbreak reported in Jamaica last month has continued into this year.
In December 2018, there were 123 suspected, presumed and confirmed cases in Jamaica, exceeding the epidemic threshold 96 for the month.
The Ministry of Health and Wellness said that in Barbados, for the week ending November 18 last year, there were 64 suspected cases of dengue fever, with no laboratory-confirmed cases and no deaths.
It said this was down from the same period in 2017 when there were 77 confirmed and 576 suspected cases.
The health officials said that the last dengue fever outbreak in Barbados was in 2016 when monthly confirmed cases exceeded the epidemic threshold for the majority of the year.
“The Ministry reminds householders and property owners that they can do their part to reduce mosquito breeding by checking their premises weekly for possible breeding sites, covering or disposing of water containers such as buckets, plastic containers and drums, and scrubbing containers to remove eggs that may be attached to the inside.”