Dengue cases confirmed by officials

| 12/03/2010

Cayman Islands News, Grand Cayman health news Cayman Dengue Fever(CNS): Some two months after tests were submitted to the Caribbean Epidemiology Centre (CAREC) in Trinidad, health officials have now confirmed three suspect cases of dengue fever. The Heath Services Authority said that the results were received late yesterday (11 March) from CAREC showing that three Cayman Islands residents, who became ill in January, did indeed have dengue type 2 and had contracted the virus in the Cayman Islands. However, the Medical Officer of Health has stated that there have been no other cases reported.

“We are glad to say that those three persons had recovered by late January, and equally glad to say there are no more suspected dengue cases in the Cayman Islands,” said Dr Kiran Kumar.  

Dengue fever is caused by a virus, transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected aedes aegyptii mosquito. Dr Kumar explained that a chain of events likely caused the local cases. Visitors from countries with dengue, or residents who returned home from those countries, could have contracted mild, undiagnosed cases of the illness. Mosquitoes here probably picked up the virus, and then transferred it to the three local persons, who later tested positive for dengue.

Despite the fact that there are no other suspected cases in Cayman, Dr Kumar noted that anti-mosquito measures are continuing, led by staff from the Mosquito Research and Control Unit (MCRU), and the Department of Environmental Health (DEH).  Both public and private health practitioners are being vigilant in monitoring for dengue.

“If we encounter a suspected case, we again will send samples to CAREC for testing,” he said.

Dengue symptoms include high fever; severe headache; backache; joint and eye pain; nausea and vomiting; and rash. Most people recover without any complications, using pain relievers and bed rest. Dr. Kumar added that once the patient has developed a fever, the infectious period lasts for only one week.

Although Public Health officials expected the test results in early February, they were received only yesterday. The samples initially were sent to CAREC, which then sent the samples to the Centres for Disease Control in Puerto Rico for confirmation. However, the CDC lab was extremely busy because of an outbreak of dengue there.

To reduce the aedes aegyptii population in Cayman, the public is urged to clear yards of containers that can hold water, as these are favourite breeding sites.

Dr William Petrie of the MRCU recently confirmed that the mosquito which can carry dengue fever is not impacted by aerial spraying as it does not live in the swamp or brackish areas but in more urban areas in yards and gardens hence the best line of defence against this pest is for property owners to eliminate all possible places for stagnant water to collect.

For more advice on mosquito control, contact MRCU on 949-2557 in Grand Cayman, or 948-2223 on Cayman Brac; and DEH on 949-6696 in Grand Cayman, or 948-2321 in Cayman Brac.

Category: Health

Comments (9)

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  1. McJinadad says:

    Hmm!

    There must be way to make it look like the PPM’s fault.

    I must find a way to blame them.

  2. Anonymous says:

    We’ve never had problems with Dengue Fever here before, in all the years of having mosquitoes.  This leaves me to wonder if  like all the social ills infecting these islands this too is not as a result of importation. 

    Would really like to know what area(s) of the island the infected persons live so that we can focus more on keeping those area(s) free of stagnant water and items that retain water to avoid these mosquitoes from breeding thus reducing the possibility of further infections.  Let us get a hold of this before it becomes a really big problem "Lets drain the swamps".

  3. Anonymous says:

    There is no dengue here.  If we ignore reports of dengue the tourists will still come.  We have no dengue here.

    Nor do we have gun crime, institutionalised discrimination or hurricanes.

     

  4. Mo. Squito says:

    Also recently confirmed have been fifteen cases of lunacy. While the source has not at this point been identified, the fifteen infected persons are known to gather together in a building located across from Heroes Square in George Town on occasion. These cases of lunacy, while not life threatening to the infected individuals ,are of grave concern to the Country as a whole as the side effects rapidly endanger the livelihood of the local populace.

    Residents are urged to take care when approaching any of these fifteen individuals as they will likely be greeted with incoherent rants and profuse and uncontrollable blaming of other individuals and groupings with little or no acceptance of their own mistakes and shortcomings.

    The public is advised that for the protection of these individuals, fifteen of the offices being fitted out in the new Government Administration building will contain padded walls and be devoid of sharp objects.

    it is hoped that the spread of lunacy has been containedl as MRCU has ceased with the use of DDT but there can be no guarantees at this point.

  5. Anonymous says:

    It seems that for a number of weeks or perhaps even months the mosquito control airplane has not been flying.

    Am I correct in this? I have seen it flying in the last several days but before that it seems to have been grounded.

    It is careless when a situation that can be so readily controlled is allowed to return as a problem to us and our tourism.