Dengue drop

Mosquito-borne illness on the decline

The incidence of dengue fever is on the decline in Barbados.  

Senior Medical Officer of Health for the North Dr Karen Springer said this morning during a news briefing to update the country on the chikungunya virus, that 90 cases of dengue had been confirmed up to last month.

She said that indicated a trend downward considering that there were 1,140 confirmed cases for all of last year.

“This may be attributed to better practices among householders and also to low rainfall levels . . . and the efforts of the environmental health team as well,” she said.

Chief Environmental Health Officer, Tyrone Applewhaite
Chief Environmental Health Officer, Tyrone Applewhaite

Chief Environmental Health Officer Tyrone Applewhaite, who attended the news briefing, also reported that the current drought in the island was assisting his department’s efforts in managing the spread of dengue.

“In terms of inspections and so on, and what we are finding on the ground out there, we are very satisfied. We have the index below two, which is very, very good. The index means the number of positive houses that we have out there with the mosquitoes,” Applewhaite stated.

“We continue to do our inspections in those high-risk areas. We have all of those areas mapped, on our GPS system, and those are constantly being monitored and reported on.”

The senior environmentalist also pointed out that fogging was continuing to strategically target those high-risk communities.

“We continue to work very nicely with the utility companies relative to the underground junctions boxes; that is a relatively successful programme that we have, and I want to give kudos to one of the companies for the hard work that they are putting in reducing the number of mosquitoes around,” Applewhaite noted.

He said the schools’ programme was also continuing.

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