St Lucia Monitoring Increased Incidence of Dengue & Chikungunya Cases

St Lucia Monitoring Increased Incidence of Dengue & Chikungunya Cases
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Health authorities in St Lucia say they are monitoring alerts from the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) regarding the increased incidence of dengue and Chikungunya cases in the Americas including the Caribbean.

They said that the number of dengue cases doubled last year compared with 2021 and that “the same increasing trends were noted with Chikungunya”.

In a statement, the Ministry of Health, Wellness, and Elderly Affairs said although the majority of these cases have been reported in South American countries, the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which is the vector responsible for the transmission of these diseases, is present in St Lucia.

“Dengue cases continue to be recorded in St Lucia throughout the year, usually peaking between the months of June and November. Since the introduction of the Chikungunya virus in 2014, random cases have been recorded,” it said, noting that there have been no recorded cases of the Zika virus disease since the 2016 outbreak.

“Although there has not been a recorded increase in cases of dengue and Chikungunya, the Ministry of Health wishes to reassure the public that the prevention and control measures have been augmented,” it said, adding that both dengue and Chikungunya are viral illnesses spread by the bite of the Aedes aegypti mosquito and, to a lesser extent, Aedes Albopictus.

“Both are endemic to St Lucia, meaning that there is continued local transmission which often peaks during and after rainy seasons. The current weather conditions are favorable to mosquito breeding and this means that cases are likely to increase even outside of the rainy season.”
the ministry said that the mosquito lives in urban surroundings and breeds mostly in man-made containers. It is a day-time feeder, with peak biting periods in the early morning and in the evening before sunset.

The ministry said signs and symptoms include fever, headache, muscle and joint pain; with the latter being more frequent in chikungunya.

There is no specific treatment for dengue and Chikungunya and management is supportive based on clinical presentation,’ the ministry said, adding that testing for both diseases is available here and members of the population, who may be experiencing signs and symptoms to seek care at their nearest Wellness Centre.


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