By Demion McTair. Updated 12: 09 p.m., Monday, September 21, 2020, Atlantic Standard Time (GMT-4).
Kingstown, St. Vincent (ONE NEWS SVG) – St. Vincent and the Grenadines is currently experiencing an outbreak of Dengue Fever and three health districts account for most of the cases.
In a release today (September 21), the Ministry of Health, Wellness and the Environment says that there are now 306 cases of Dengue Fever from January 1, 2020, to September 11, 2020.
But, on August 25, 2020, the country had recorded “just about 74 cases”, Epidemiologist in the health ministry, Tamara Bobb had said earlier on Television.
The release states that the mosquito-borne disease, while affecting all health districts, is affecting the Kingstown, Georgetown and Pembroke Health Districts most, with 65.9 % cases coming from these areas.
It says that especially worrying is that 51.3% of the persons affected are in the age group 0-15 years.
The current strain of Dengue virus circulating is the Dengue type 3.
The last dengue outbreaks in St. Vincent and the Grenadines were in 2010 and 2014.
The case count during those periods reached about 240.
THE STRAINS OF DENGUE
In a recent Facebook post, the ministry said “After you’ve recovered from dengue fever, you have immunity to the type of virus that infected you — but not to the other three dengue fever virus types”.
“The risk of developing severe dengue fever, also known as dengue hemorrhagic fever, actually increases if you’re infected a second, third or fourth time,” the ministry said.
The ministry said “Dengue fever is caused by any one of four types of dengue viruses spread by mosquitoes that thrive in and near human homes. When a mosquito bites a person infected with a dengue virus, the virus enters the mosquito. When the infected mosquito then bites another person, the virus enters that person’s bloodstream”.
The ministry had been stepping up its provision of information regarding dengue fever after it reported that there has been an above-normal number of cases recorded this year, compared to last year.