(CMC) – Grenada has been put on alert amid fears of a dengue outbreak after Jamaica reported an upsurge in cases at the start of the year.
“We are all keeping a close eye on the development of the dengue fever situation in the region, and so in order to prevent and control this upsurge in a timely manner, we are taking early and decisive action now,” said Chief Medical Officer Dr George Mitchell.
Earlier this month, health authorities in Jamaica confirmed two dengue-related deaths for the period January to December last year and said that the virus had surpassed the epidemic threshold for December.
The island reported that there were seven suspected and two confirmed cases of dengue-related deaths for the period January to December 2018 and that a total of 830 reported cases have been classified as suspected, presumed or confirmed as at January 3 this year.
Mitchell said that the Health Promotions Department and vector control officers have been mandated to scale up their intervention programmes nationwide aimed at preventing an upsurge in the spread of dengue fever in Grenada.
He said that given the regional situation and the fact that there is likely to be an increase in the mosquito population around this time of year, the ministry was not taking any chances and will not sit complacent.
The Aedes Aegypti mosquito is responsible for the spread of the dengue, Zika and Chikungunya viruses.
Symptoms of dengueinclude sudden onset of high fever with severe headache, fatigue, pain behind the eyes, muscle, bone or joint pain, skin rash and vomiting or feeling nauseous.