#TurksandCaicos, May 21, 2018 – Providenciales – There has been a significant amount of rain within the Turks and Caicos Islands over the past few weeks. The Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) is warning residents within the Caribbean region to “gear-up for the possibility of a major outbreak of dengue fever in 2018.”
Latin America reported that they have had increases in the number of reported Dengue cases in recent months. The Ministry of Health, Agriculture, Sports and Human Services is taking a proactive approach by advising the general public to take precautions to safeguard against mosquito bites and reduce the risk of mosquitoes breeding in their communities.
Additionally, persons are being advised to reduce the risk of mosquito bites through using air conditioning or window and door screens in order to reduce the risk of mosquitoes coming indoors. Proper application of mosquito repellents containing 20% to 30% DEET as the active ingredient on exposed skin and clothing also decreases the risk of being bitten by mosquitoes.
The week of the 7th-13th was observed as Mosquito Week under the theme “Fight the bite, destroy all mosquito breeding sites”. Turks and Caicos Islands has gone further by dedicating the month of May to vector borne disease awareness.
Efforts to stop mosquitoes breeding have been increased and the general public is being encouraged to work with the Environmental Health Department in reducing mosquito breeding sites throughout the TCI.
Research by CARPHA and the Pan American Health Organization and World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) shows that drums and tires are the main mosquito breeding sources in Caribbean countries. Therefore, we need to keep our surroundings clean.
The Minister of Health, Agriculture, Sports and Human Services, Hon. Edwin Astwood urges the public to take action by covering drums and tanks, checking the guttering, removing stagnant water sources and protecting one’s self and family from bites.
Dengue is a flu-like illness that can become severe and may cause death if prompt treatment is not received. Symptoms normally begin four to ten days after being bitten by an infected mosquito and may include a high fever, headache, vomiting, muscle and joint pains, and a characteristic skin rash.
There is no cure or specific treatment for dengue. Treatment involves relieving your symptoms while the infection runs its course. It is advisable that you use Panadol to relieve pain and fever and avoid taking aspirin or Ibuprofen. Drink plenty of water and consult your doctor. Symptoms may last for a week.
For more information, contact the Health Promotion and Advocacy Unit on 3382772 or contact the Environmental Health Department on 3382143.
Release: Ministry of Health, Agriculture, Sports and Human Services