Recent Rain In St. Kitts Has Increased Dengue Fever Risk.

Photo credit: SKNIS. Mosquitos like this one can breed in pools of rainwater and spread dengue fever to humans.
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After a dry spell St. Kitts & Nevis recently had rainfall when Tropical Storm Philippe sailed past the islands.

Increased rainfall is often comes with an increase in mosquito vector levels and an increase in risk of spread of mosquito-related diseases such as
Dengue, Zika and Chikungunya.

The Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) has reported an upsurge in laboratory confirmed cases of Dengue in the region and Dengue outbreaks have been reported in three CARPHA member states.

Dengue viral infection is caused by the dengue virus which is transmitted mainly by female
mosquitoes of the species – Aedes aegypti which is prevalent in the Federation, including  in St. Kitts & Nevis, which is at risk for a Dengue outbreak.

Locally, the Ministry of Health reported three laboratory confirmed cases of dengue during this past week.

Dengue is a flu-like illness that affects people of all ages.

Symptoms usually
begin four to ten days after being bitten by a dengue infected mosquito. The symptoms include
high fever, headaches, pain behind the eyes, muscle and joint pains and skin rash.

The illness can develop into severe Dengue, characterized by intense and continuous abdominal pain, persistent vomiting, and bleeding from mucous membranes.

Affected persons should access medical care at the nearest health center or hospital if these occur.

The most effective way to avoid getting sick from viruses spread by mosquitoes is to prevent
mosquito bites.

We can mitigate the impact and spread of Dengue and other mosquito -borne
diseases by taking the following ten actions recommeded by the Chief Medical Officer.

  1. Protect yourself by using personal repellents on skin & clothes.
  2. Use bed nets if adult mosquitoes are prevalent.
  3. Wear protective clothing like long pants and long-sleeved tops.
  4. Protect your homes by using screens for doors and windows.
  5. Protect your homes, schools and offices by disposing of all bottles, cans, and water
    holding containers in an approved refuse bin with appropriate covers. Keep lawn, grass
    and vegetation trimmed.
  6. Change and replenish water in vases daily.
  7. Change and replenish pet and animal drinking troughs daily.
  8. Store all used and new vehicle tyres in a dry place, so that they do not fill with rainwater.
  9. Report any body of stagnant water to the local Environmental Health Department.
  10. If you are experiencing – fever, joint pains, pain behind eyes and a rash, you should seek
    medical care at the nearest health facility.

Source: SKNIS.

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