Latest News

St Lucia on alert amidst reported dengue deaths in Martinique

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Print this page Email A Friend!

CASTRIES, St Lucia (CMC) – Health officials in St Lucia have issued an alert in light of reported deaths due to the mosquito-borne disease, dengue, in the neighbouring French island of Martinique.

“We are asking persons to be on guard, be on the alert,” said Chief Medical Officer, Dr Merlene Frederick-James.

“At this point in time we are not seeing an increase in dengue cases, but as we said other countries in the region are noticing an increase, countries that are near to us, the French territories are noticing an increase hence we need to be on the alert.”

According to Frederick-James, with most of the population being under 10 years old, health officials are concerned as they have not been exposed to the disease, especially the type-3 variation.

“And this is definitely a concern when persons who have not been exposed,” she explained.

“When a disease enters a country where persons have not been previously exposed, it means that these persons haven't developed antibodies and it is quite possible that you may have a larger outbreak as a result of that because you have more persons who are susceptible to the condition.”

Cases of dengue normally spike during the rainy season, said Frederick-James, who added that although it has been relatively dry on the island, there has been some showers.

“So we need to be on guard,” she said.

“Even if we are in a relatively dry period, we are having some showers and we know that once there are showers, and once there is water, which is uncovered in and around the home, the mosquitoes can breed.”

The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) recently issued a warning about the possibility of a dengue outbreak in the region.

Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at




1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper � email addresses will not be published.

2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.

3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.

4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.

5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed:

6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email:

7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy

comments powered by Disqus



Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon