Ten Suspected Cases of Dengue, Health Officials Assure There is No Outbreak

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Thursday 10th January, 2019-The Ministry of Health is reporting that within a nine-month period commencing April 2018, Antigua and Barbuda has recorded 10 suspected cases of Dengue.

The figure was released this morning when the Ministry of Health, Wellness and the Environment convened a press conference to update the country on the status of the mosquito-borne disease.

Dr. Anju Smith, Medical Officer with responsibility for Epidemiology/Surveillance revealed what the ministry has observed about dengue nationally within the specific period.

Dr. Smith revealed that more adults are affected with the disease, adding that specific areas have also been identified where dengue may have been contracted.

Despite the numbers, health officials are assuring there is no outbreak of Dengue in Antigua and Barbuda. Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Rhonda Sealey-Thomas says the update is to share information with citizens and residents and place the country on alert, since the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) has advised that Antigua and Barbuda and the region are due for a dengue outbreak.

While the ministry is doing its part to detect cases early, Dr. Sealey-Thomas is appealing for residents to do what is necessary to avoid being bitten.

Health professionals are underscoring the importance of medical treatment when presented with symptoms of dengue. Symptoms include headaches, fever, skin rashes, dehydration, bleeding, severe vomiting and pain at the back of the eyes. And there is a warning that certain medications should be avoided during that period.

The Ministry of Health plans to increase its public education campaign on the prevention, detection, management and control of Dengue. Government has approved approximately $ 35,000 for the printing of posters, brochures and for radio and television public service announcements on the mosquito-borne disease.

The Aedes Aegypti Mosquito that spreads Dengue, also spreads Chikungunya and the Zika Virus.