Dengue Fever is caused by the Flavivirus and occurs in tropical and subtropical areas of the world. During an outbreak – when there are more than 96 reported local cases – it is important to be informed about the disease’s transmission, symptoms, and methods of prevention.
The disease is carried by Aedes aegypti mosquitoes and transmitted to humans through the bites of infected female mosquitoes.
Dengue fever occurs in one of two forms. The mild form produces:
• A fever of 40˚ C or higher
• Muscle, bone, and joint pain
• Pain behind the eyes
• Swollen glands
Its more severe form, called Dengue Haemorrhagic Fever, can also cause haemorrhaging, a sudden drop in blood pressure, and death.
The Ministry of Health (MOH) has provided information to help Jamaicans combat the disease and limit the spread of Dengue Fever. Some tips are:
• Use a mosquito repellent containing DEET on skin and clothing
• Sleep under a mosquito net
• Get treatment promptly when symptoms appear to prevent progression of the disease
• Keep stored water covered
• Eliminate mosquito breeding sites (mainly still water and tall grass) around dwellings
• Close windows before nightfall
• Open windows during fogging