Caribbean

St Kitts & Nevis: Tropical storm Philippe brings heavy rainfall

Basseterre, St. Kitts and Nevis: The Federation of St Kitts & Nevis recently experienced increased rainfall associated with the passage of Tropical Storm Philippe.

An increase in rainfall is often associated with an increase in mosquito vector levels and an increase in the risk of spread of mosquito related diseases such as Dengue, Zika and Chikungunya.

Due to increased rainfall in St Kitts and Nevis over the past couple of days, the government encouraged monitoring their homes and surroundings to protect themselves and others against dengue fever.

Mosquitoes breed in standing water, and persons are encouraged to empty, clean, and dispose of containers around their homes that can hold water.

Dengue viruses are spread to people through the bite of an infected Aedes species (Ae. aegypti or Ae. albopictus) mosquito. These mosquitoes also spread Zika, Chikungunya, and other viral infections.

Moreover, several Caribbean countries like Jamaica are on high alert when it comes to Dengue. Health officials in Belize are now advising the public to take precautions and preventative measures. The Ministry of Health and Wellness issued an advisory this week as part of its campaign.

According to Kim Bautista, the Vector Control Chief of Operations, in 2019, they recorded the highest incidence of Dengue ever, as 3.18 million dengue cases were reported. He says that now, just nine months in, that record has been shattered, as the region now exceeds 3.51 million cases of Dengue.

Moreover, the Caribbean nation recently shared the good news with residents that they successfully got a powerful ally in the fight against Dengue – BOP Insecticide Spray kills Aedes aegypti mosquitoes that transmit the Dengue virus.

“A 17-year-old died of Dengue Fever a few weeks ago in Eleuthera. This is actually very serious. I’m very surprised that this information hasn’t been shared sooner. Mosquitoes are plenty in number on Eleuthera, and according to ‘Caribbean news sources’ 88 cases of Dengue Fever have been recorded in the Bahamas. I can only hope that this gets addressed immediately by the Ministry of Health for the sake of everyone….residents and tourists.”

Zurab Kvaratskhelia

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