The Ministry of Health & Wellness will fully activate its enhanced Vector Control Programme commencing Monday, July 1, 2019. In keeping with recent annual trends, there is an expected increase in the breeding of mosquitoes in the summer months, including those that carry the dengue virus. In anticipation of that, the Ministry will activate an enhanced public education programme and media campaign, home inspections and the destruction of breeding sites by 1,000 temporary vector control workers, and islandwide fogging by the parish health departments.
“Members of the public are encouraged to play their part to control mosquito-borne diseases by keeping surroundings free of debris; destroying or treating potential mosquito-breeding sites; wearing protective clothing; using a DEET-containing mosquito repellant and, as much as possible, staying indoors at dusk with windows and doors closed”, advises Chief Medical Officer in the Ministry of Health & Wellness, Dr. Jacquiline Bisasor-McKenzie.
“Further, the public is encouraged to speak to a doctor or pharmacist about the possibility of dengue when pain or fever medication is being prescribed or dispensed,” Dr. Bisasor McKenzie added.
Dengue is a mosquito-borne disease in which a person may get a fever, headache, joint, and muscle pains. Many viral illnesses look alike and dengue can be mistaken for other illnesses, however, the recommended treatment for the fever is acetaminophen/paracetamol.
The Ministry urges members of the public to avoid the use of aspirin, diclofenac, ibuprofen or any of the medications/pain relievers known as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. These drugs, when used to treat the fever in dengue, have been known to increase the severity of the disease.
“Some persons may develop severe dengue, which can lead to sever dehydration and can cause haemorrhagic manifestation including bleeding and internal bleeding, which can lead to death. Immediate medical attention should be sought once a person with a fever begins to vomit, have severe abdominal pain, bleeding under the skin, feel very weak or get confused,” Bisasor-McKenzie cautioned.
Persons may call the Parish Health Departments or the Ministry of Health & Wellness at 888-ONE-LOVE (663-5683) with any reports or concerns.