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Huge increase in dengue fever cases |24 April 2020

While the department of health is fully engaged in the fight against the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the country has sadly recorded an increasing number of confirmed cases of dengue fever between January and mid-April.

In his press conference to give updates on the situation of the COVID-19 in the country, Public Health Commissioner Dr Jude Gedeon said since January, they have recorded 75 positive cases through rapid tests, while the Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests confirmed 45 positive cases.

Dr Gedeon noted that there are presently dengue type one (DENV-1), two (DENV-2) and three (DENV-3) cases in the country with the majority being DENV-3.

Dengue fever is a mosquito-borne tropical disease caused by the dengue virus.

Symptoms typically begin three to fourteen days after infection. These may include a high fever, headache, vomiting, muscle and joint pains, and a characteristic skin rash. Recovery generally takes two to seven days. In a small proportion of cases, the disease develops into severe dengue, also known as dengue hemorrhagic fever, resulting in bleeding, low levels of blood platelets and blood plasma leakage, or into dengue shock syndrome, where dangerously low blood pressure occurs.

Dengue is spread by several species of female mosquitoes of the Aedes type, principally A. aegypti.

The virus has five types; infection with one type usually gives lifelong immunity to that type, but only short-term immunity to the others. Subsequent infection with a different type increases the risk of severe complications. A number of tests are available to confirm the diagnosis including detecting antibodies to the virus or its RNA.


Roland Duval

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