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Dengue fever outbreak confirmed in Barbados

October 7, 2023

The Ministry of Health and Wellness has confirmed that there is a dengue fever outbreak in Barbados.

In a release, Chief Medical Officer Dr. the Most Honourable Kenneth George revealed the threshold was reached at the end of September.

The number of cases recorded up to that time was 518, compared to 241 for the same period in 2022.

Of the 40 confirmed cases of dengue for the year, 28 were recorded in September.

The Ministry of Health and Wellness classifies a case of dengue fever as both suspected and confirmed.

Symptoms include headaches, muscle and joint pains, vomiting and a characteristic skin rash.

Dr. George has urged the public to take immediate protective actions. These include:

  • Source reduction – removal of sites and receptacles where stagnant water can collect. (Eg. the overflow dishes of plant pots in homes, plant cuttings and discarded tyres)
  • Using mosquito repellent on the skin
  • Wearing light-coloured, long-sleeved shirts and long pants, particularly during peak biting times (dusk and dawn)
  • Using mosquito nets over infant beds, cribs, carriers and strollers; and
  • Installing window and door screens to keep out mosquitoes

The CMO has also advised those who have an unexplained fever or exhibit any of the other symptoms mentioned to seek medical attention. A blood test will be required for confirmation of dengue fever.

Dr. George says the Ministry of Health will use the location of reported suspected and confirmed dengue cases to inform its fogging campaign.

He further advised that any unusual increases in mosquito sightings should be reported to the environmental health department of the nearest polyclinic.

To date, there have been no deaths attributed to dengue fever.

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