Health authorities in Antigua and Barbuda are on high alert following the confirmation of 10 Dengue related cases.
The information was disclosed during a news conference yesterday at the Ministry of Health headquarters on lower High street.
Doctor Anju Smith reported that two of the suspected 10 cases were confirmed through laboratory testing.
Smith went into detail on the cases thus far, revealing that females and adults comprise the majority of those who have been affected.
“We haven’t had any deaths, but we have noted seven of these [patients] had to be admitted at the hospital. We have seen more adults being affected than children and we’ve had more females being detected than males. The age ranges have been from 11 months to 82 years of age.”
She identified the residential areas where the cases have been detected.
“Now the areas where these persons originated with the suspected disease, Dengue, we’ve had English Harbour, Jennings, Ovals, Ottos, Gambles, Potters and Gray’s Farm,” Dr Smith said.
Meantime, Medical Officer of Health Dr Oritta Zachariah highlighted the signs and symptoms residents should be on the lookout for.
“The symptoms are very much like other viral diseases. One may have headache, fever and, for dengue particularly, you may have a rash. Many people, however, do not have the rash. One of the things I need to ask the public to be mindful of is when you have symptoms in keeping with dengue then you seek some medical advice.
“There are clinics that are public and private institutions that can give information. You don’t necessarily need to see a doctor. Nurses can help with information.”
Dr. Zachariah however pointed out that people with symptoms like severe vomiting or any worsening of their condition, should seek medical attention.
“Seek medical attention when you have severe vomiting. If you see yourself bleeding from the nose, the mouth or having stools that have dark colors, seek attention. One of the things I often always say, do not take any of the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications such as Ibuprofen and Advil because these worsen bleeding in severe Dengue. You are susceptible to the likelihood of bleeding, so our drug of choice is Acetaminophen which is known traditionally as Panadol, cetamolol and paracetamol,”
Earlier this month, health authorities in Jamaica confirmed two Dengue-related deaths for the period January to December last year and said the virus had surpassed the epidemic threshold for December.
Jamaica also reported that there were seven suspected and two confirmed cases of dengue-related deaths for the period January to December 2018.
Dengue fever is a mosquito-borne tropical disease caused by the dengue virus. Symptoms typically manifest from three to 14 days after infection.
The Aedes Aegypti mosquito is responsible for the spread of the Dengue, Zika and Chikungunya viruses.