Public health issues warning over regional dengue

| 09/01/2019 | 28 Comments

(CNS): Local health officials are urging Cayman Islands residents to be aware of an increase in reported cases of dengue in the Caribbean region. While there have been no reported cases for some time in Cayman, the frequency with which people travel to and from this jurisdiction always puts residents at risk during any outbreaks in our area and increases the possibility of imported cases. Officials said the Public Health Department here has already initiated response measures to contain the situation if it arrives on our shores with active surveillance, infection prevention and control and risk communications.

“Currently there is no report or evidence indicating any cases of dengue fever in the Cayman Islands, however the risk is considered high due to the high level of travel between the Cayman Islands and neighbouring territories, currently being impacted by dengue fever,” said Acting Chief Medical Officer and Medical Officer for Health Dr Samuel Williams-Rodriguez.

“In this regard, there is the need to amplify surveillance for early detection and appropriate response, and to increase awareness among the general population on ways to prevent, and protect against introduction and spread of the mosquito-borne disease.”

The local Public Health Department has a year-round surveillance system that involves weekly monitoring of potential cases of mosquito-borne illness reported by public and private physicians that has proven very sensitive when it comes to detecting dengue cases, Dr Williams-Rodriguez added. All residents and visitors experiencing symptoms of dengue after travelling to a country with established transmission of dengue should immediately see a doctor and report their travel history.

Health Minister Dwayne Seymour commended PHD’s highly sensitive detection system and said people had a personal responsibility to avoid mosquito bites. The minister claimed in a press release that Cayman has to date only experienced imported cases, even though there was at least one documented locally transmitted case in 2016 and many more in 2014.

In the last few years the number of cases of dengue reported to the authorities has been very small, however, and officials confirmed that over the last three years, the Cayman Islands experienced three imported and one locally transmitted case of dengue in 2016, no cases in 2017 and two imported cases in 2018.

The minister said, “At the same time, the number of cases in the region is rising. As such, persons visiting countries with established transmission should take mosquito-bite prevention measures when outdoors at all times.”

These measures include wearing long sleeves, long pants and mosquito-bite repellent containing at least 50% DEET. Persons should also eliminate potential Aedes aegypti breeding grounds by turning over sources of standing water around their homes and other buildings.

Dengue is a mosquito-borne viral disease transmitted by female Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. Symptoms of the disease include the acute onset of high fever and at least two of the following:

  • Severe frontal headache
  • Joint pain
  • Pain behind the eyes
  • Muscle and or bone pain
  • A rash (sometimes) may be visible two to five days after the onset of fever
  • Nausea or vomiting (sometimes)
  • Signs of bleeding (such as: pinpoint red or purple spots on the skin, nosebleed, bleeding gums, blood in urine or stool, or vaginal bleeding) are seen in a severe form of dengue fever known as dengue hemorrhagic fever, severe dengue or dengue shock syndrome.
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Comments (28)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Bring back oxitech

  2. Anonymous says:

    These essential oils will work: citronella, clove, lemongrass, rosemary, tea tree, cajeput, eucalyptus, cedar, catnip, geranium, lavender, mint. Add a drop or two of each or 15 of one in water and spray yourself periodically when you are out and about. You will smell heavenly and repel mosquitoes.

    • Anonymous says:

      On the other end of the spectrum, if you don’t want to take any chances: you can sometimes find NATO military-strength odorless Permethrin at our hardware stores. It’s a synthetic version of a natural chemical found in the chrysanthemum flower. It comes in a yellow can made by Sawyer. Spray it on your shoes, socks, clothing, and allow to dry in well-ventillated area. It not only repels and kills ticks, chiggers and mosquitos, but also kills them on contact. It binds with the clothing fibers and lasts the lifetime of the garment, even after many machine-washings. It’s been used by NATO militaries since the 1980s as standard dunk formulation for all tropical equipment and kit. Permethrin also repels/kills sea-itch and lice under the topical name, “Nix”, and is sold in pre-treated “insect-proof” clothing lines by LL Bean and ExOfficio.

  3. Anonymous says:

    What this report doesn’t tell us is that there are four strains of denque, only one of which (hemorrhagic) is a serious health risk. The other three (and I speak from personal experience during a trip to Micronesia) are little more than unpleasant and once you’ve been infected you should be immune from that strain for life. The vast majority of dengue infections pass in 3-4 days and can be treated in the same way as a dose of flu with rest, fluids and paracetamol.

    • Anon says:

      a little more than unpleasant for some. my 2 bouts with dengue were pretty awful and lasted closer to 10 days.

    • Anonymous says:

      Fantastic news! Maybe Williams-Rodriguez could send you to Jamaica as our Ambassador to counsel the grieving families of those that have died. You can tell them all how they are over-reacting in their grief. “You can just make another kid” and “they were weak and going to die anyway” are also very soothing commentaries from the cheap seats.

      • Anonymous says:

        11:48 Get real! 123 cases and two deaths, one of which is being attributed to inadequate response by the medical services. More people were murdered and killed in road accidents in Jamaica during the same period. In fact the 123-2 ratio is probably on the high side because hundreds of other cases will have gone unreported because the people recovered without medical intervention.

        • Anon says:

          thats why they call it bone breaker flu. while healthy people are incapacitated vomiting and pooing uncontollably. and this is written from experience also. whatever you had was not dengue

          • Anonymous says:

            I had dengue twice and fully expect to die if I get it again. This is from someone who almost never gets a cold or flu and goes for years without a sick day.

            You do not want to dismiss dengue as trivial.

  4. Jgp says:

    You will be crying for oxitec again soon, Everyone is against a GM mosquito but cool with MRCU pesticide spray on your heads, grass and mango trees.

    • Anonymous says:

      You have a point there… There are zero organic crops produced on this island as everything is sprayed with mosquito killer.

    • Anonymous says:

      This staple of the mosquito control arsenal can’t be good for humans or ecology longterm…”Mosquitomist Two” (aerial-sprayed adulticide for Aedes Taeniorhynchus):

      According to OSHA 29 CFR 1910.1200 HCS (2012)

      Aspiration Hazard: Category 1 – May be fatal if swallowed and enters airways

      Sensitization – Skin: Category 1 – May cause an allergic skin reaction

      STOT, Repeated Exposure: Category 1 – Causes damage to organs (brain, central nervous system, respiratory system, skin, and/or eyes ) through prolonged or repeated exposure via ingestion, inhalation, eye contact, and/or skin contact.

      Carcinogenicity: Category 2 – Suspected of causing cancer

      STOT, Single Exposure: Category 2 – May cause damage to organs (brain, central nervous system, skin, and eyes via inhalation, ingestion, eye contact, and/or skin contact)

      STOT, Single Exposure: Category 3 NE – May cause drowsiness or dizziness

      Acute Toxicity, Oral: Category 4 – May cause drowsiness or dizziness

      Acute Toxicity, Inhalation: Category 4 – Harmful if swallowed

      Flammable Liquid: Category 4 – Combustible liquid

  5. Anonymous says:

    Here we go again. Please great fear mongers, vaccinate me…not. Sorry, don’t believe your spin.
    Vaccinate yourselves and you’ll all be fine. Let me “die” in peace. My faith is in God.
    This is a pathetic argument by the pro-vaxxers. If the vaccine is so bloody good, go and get one. Leave me alone, you lemmings.

    • Anonymous says:

      There is no vaccine for dengue.

      • Anonymous says:

        2:07 Actually there is – check it out on the internet.

        • Anonymous says:

          Sanofi Pasteur CYC-TDV vaccine was still in Phase 3 clinical trial in 2015 (using disposable Asian peoples), and its in Long Term Follow Up phase. So far, with a 3 shot course at 0, 3, and 6 months, efficacy against symptomatic virologically confirmed dengue is estimated to be 56.5% and 60.8%.

    • Anonymous says:

      Pity there aren’t more people with your faith in god and fear of vaccines… The population of the world would be considerably lower!

      • Anonymous says:

        there is no vaccine

      • Anonymous says:

        Pitty there isn’t a vaccine for the mental disorder that makes people believe the universe, spacetime, matter, DNA, the genome code, Beethoven’s 5th symphony along with all of the laws of physics can manifest its self out of total nothingness caused by nothing and without purpose.

        That’s worse than believing in magic. At least with magic, there is a magician.

    • Anonymous says:

      “your science is wrong , sky fairy is right!”

  6. Anonymous says:

    Where is this in the Caribbean and is there a vaccine?

    • Anonymous says:

      Chikungunya, Zika, and at least 4 serotypes of Dengue Fever are endemic to Honduras, Cuba, and Jamaica (with an active outbreak in at least 7 parishes right now with 2 dead). There are many direct inbound flights a day, packed with exposed arriving passengers, and we have the vector Aedes Aegypti established for transmission to all. We need to continue to be vigilant to eliminate pest habitat around human dwellings and take precaution to repel these insects as best we can. Lifetime 17D strain Yellow Fever vaccine is avail from Public Health, but won’t help with any of the above.

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