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Dengue cases up over 700 per cent

There has been a dramatic rise in the number of dengue fever cases, with the Ministry of Health reporting a more than 700 per cent increase this year compared to the same period last year. The number of suspected cases has also climbed steeply.

According to the Barbados Government Information Service (BGIS), figures released by the Ministry of Health reveal that up to July 23 this year, there were 300 confirmed cases compared to 41 confirmed for the same period last year. In addition, there were 976 suspected cases this year compared to 214 last year.

However, while there was one death from the disease last year, none has been reported this year.   

Chikungunya, which like dengue and Zika is spread by the aedes aegypti mosquito, is trending in the opposition direction.  From a high of 1,851 suspected cases and 139 confirmed cases in 2014 when the virus surfaced here, there were no confirmed cases and 113 suspected cases between January and July 23 this year. During the same period last year there were 63 suspected cases and four confirmed cases of Chikungunya.

The Ministry of Health reported last Friday that no Zika cases reported in the last 12 weeks. For the year so far, there have been 20 confirmed cases and 540 suspected cases.

With the rainy season under way, Chief Environmental Health Officer Desmond King has appealed to residents to do all in their power to help control the mosquito population by identifying and removing possible mosquito breeding sites, BGIS said in the release.

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