BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC) – Barbados has recorded a significant increase in dengue cases last year even as health authorities were reporting a decline in confirmed cases during a four week period leading up to mid-December last year.
Official figures released here show that for the four-week period leading up to December 15, last year, there were 43 confirmed cases of dengue, compared to 68 in the four weeks leading up to November 17.
The figures released by the Ministry of Health indicated that a total of 391 confirmed cases were recorded up to December 15, and 1,381 suspected cases were sent to the lab for testing. During the same period in 2011, a total of 200 confirmed cases were recorded and 786 suspected cases were sent for testing.
“Despite the recent decline in confirmed cases, there has been significant rainfall in the past month and officials are reminding householders to check their premises for possible mosquito breeding sites and either dispose of, or cover water containers, such as buckets, small plastic containers and drums,” the statement said.
It said that vector control, including source reduction and chemical control, will remain the principal strategy in the prevention of dengue and that environmental health officials will continue to inspect premises, investigate mosquito complaints and maintain surveillance at sites, including ports of entry, wetlands, tyre shops and nurseries.
Dengue fever is an infectious tropical disease transmitted by the aedes aegypti mosquito and symptoms include fever, headache, muscle and joint paints and a characteristic skin rash that is similar to measles. In severe cases the disease develops into the life threatening dengue hemorrhagic fever resulting in bleeding, low levels of blood platelets and blood plasma leakage.