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Public Asked to Monitor Their Health and Environment to Curb Dengue Outbreak

The Ministry of Health and Social Services is asking residents and visitors to continue to monitor their environment and see a doctor if they are experiencing any of the symptoms of dengue fever.

The call came from Dr Dorothea Hazel-Blake, Epidemiologist for the Ministry of Health on Wednesday’s episode of Talking Health on local radio.

She said she was proud of the way Montserratians and visitors have been addressing the issue but urged those who may be feeling ill to seek medical attention.

Dr Hazel-Blake said at the end of October when the outbreak began, there were two cases reported at the Glendon Hospital. Since then, it increased to five in the second week, nine in the third week, ten in the fourth week and peaked at 13 in the fifth week. She said that while it was still early to tell if the outbreak had reached it’s peak, since then numbers have been moving downward. In the sixth week only nine new cases were reported and as of Wednesday, it was four.

“The numbers are going in the right direction, she said. We will wait until end of next week before saying that we’re at the tail end of the outbreak.”

The epidemiologist said the Environmental Health Department had completed the fogging cycle across the island but reminded listeners that fogging only kills adult mosquitoes. She said we must still keep an eye out for mosquito larvae. Residents should look at their yards for potential mosquito breeding sites and remove them. If there are issues and guidance is needed contact Environmental Health at 491 6057.

Dengue Fever is a viral illness caused by the bite from the Aedes Egypti mosquito. Signs of dengue include fever at high temperature, severe headaches, pain behind the eyes, muscle pain, joint pain and bone pains, rash, nausea and bad feelings with vomiting.

Since the outbreak, a few people have had to be hospitalised as a result of the dengue fever. It is advised that if you are on the mend but suddenly begin to feel abdominal pain, have difficulty breathing, and vomiting, you could be experiencing complications from the dengue fever and should seek medical attention immediately. Do not to try to treat yourself at home.

Residents are asked to wear appropriate clothing, cover arms and legs and use insect repellant throughout the day.

For those attending carnival events in the village, the Ministry of the Health and Social Services has stocked the bars with insect repellant wipes and sprays to use while there.

Residents and community groups are encouraged to look out for senior citizens who may need someone to check their homes for mosquito breeding sites.

Listen to the segment here courtesy of Montserrat Radio Echo –