NIA CHARLESTOWN NEVIS (November 27, 2023)- As the number of cases of Dengue fever on Nevis increases, residents are being implored to take the Dengue virus seriously and employ measures to prevent its spread.
The Honourable Senator Jahnel Nisbett, Minister of Health in the Nevis Island Administration (NIA), has sounded a warning to members of the general public that Dengue fever is a very real threat to life.
“I want to raise a critical issue that we are facing in our community right now and that is the recent surge in Dengue fever cases. Dengue fever is a serious illness…It’s imperative that we address this matter as soon as possible.
“Often times you hear Dengue fever and it’s not taken quite as seriously as some of the other diseases, but Dengue fever can also be fatal and we don’t want to wait until we get to that point to recognize the seriousness of this issue. The disease can come in extreme cases where it can cause serious bleeding and a sudden drop in blood pressure, and that can cause shock or death,” she said.
The Dengue virus is spread to people through the bite of an infected Aedes aegypti species of mosquito, which is prevalent in the Federation. Symptoms of Dengue fever can range from mild to severe and include high fever, pain behind the eyes, rash, and joint and muscle pain.
Premier of Nevis the Honourable Mark Brantley also made a plea for persons to do their part in addition to the government’s vector control efforts to prevent the spread of the disease by eliminating as much as possible breeding grounds for mosquitos on their property.
“The health professionals were very clear with us on Wednesday (November 22) that the only way we are going to defeat the Aedes aegypti mosquito and defeat this Dengue threat is for each and every one of us to work together. How can you help? We know mosquitos need stagnant water to breed and we are asking persons to go around their homes and businesses and to empty any container that has stagnant water.
“Dengue has the potential to impact all of us and I’m pleased that all of our cases thus far have recovered. I’ve learned that there is Dengue hemorrhagic fever and where that happens I’m told that there is over a 50 percent chance that the person can die. Now that is very serious…and we can all help if we just go around our yards and communities and empty all of these containers that have stagnant water,” he stated.
The Honourable Premier informed that although the Ministry of Health has employed fogging during the evenings in certain communities across the island, they are taking a very targeted approach as the fogging chemicals are also lethal for bees.
The Ministry of Health has rolled out a public education campaign utilizing both news and social media platforms as part of the fight against Dengue.
As at November 23 there were 57 confirmed cases of Dengue fever on Nevis, with the majority concentrated in the Constituency of St. Johns.