Caribbean regions put on alert due to Dengue Outbreak

CARPHA calls on Dominica and other regional countries to implement measures to deal with the dengue outbreak.

CARPHA calls on Dominica and other regional countries to implement measures to counter the dengue outbreak.
CARPHA calls on Dominica and other regional countries to implement measures to counter the dengue outbreak.

CARPHA (Caribbean Public Health Agency) calls on Dominica and other regional countries to implement measures to counter the Dengue outbreak.

The Trinidad-based CARPHA noted the continued increase in the cases of Dengue over the past six months. As per their reports, it is suspected and confirmed that many Caribbean regions are on alert for this disease.

Notably, this surge has been most significantly experienced in member states due to excess of rainfall. 

Moreover, the agency has stressed the importance of recognizing the correlated risks and ripple effects, pointing out that dengue outbursts, along with other mosquito-borne diseases such as Chikungunya and Zika,

These breakouts pose a significant threat to the tourism, health, economic and social development of a person and a nation at large.

CARPHA further notes that Dengue typically causes eruption every three to five years, while the recent seasonality of this infection transmission in the Americas and the Caribbean contributed to the highest total case numbers and complications.

The agency added that 2023 may surpass the historic high as up to epidemiological week 40 in 2023; the Caribbean has witnessed a 15 per cent increase in confirmed dengue cases.

The cases occurred in CARPHA Member States (CSM) compared to the same period in 2022.

Dr Joy St John, serving as CARPHA’s executive director, stated that the agency emphasized regional health security as any public health threat that endangers the integrity of regional response systems needs to be dealt with timely.

They have mobilized their efforts to maximize efficiencies in the uprising cases. 

“Regional health security remains at the forefront. In this regard, any public health threat, such as Dengue, that imperils the integrity of regional response systems must be dealt with in a timely and effective manner and, as such, demands that, as the Caribbean Community, we mobilize efforts to maximize efficiencies”, the director added.

She further encouraged member states to remain flexible and vigilant with their national work plans and available resources to foster the chances of successful responses. 

In 2023, four CARPHA member states reported dengue outbursts and trends, which are being detected in others, with subgroups of all four dengue serotypes flowing across the region.

To deal with this disease, it is suggested to use long-sleeved clothing and repellents containing DEET, IR3535 or lemon eucalyptus, followed by the product label instructions.

Confirmed cases must be rest under the mosquito nets. The Trinidad-based agency calls for intensified mosquito control activities in the communities to counter the increase in mosquitoes.

Notably, the associated states are recommended to review and strengthen their preparedness and to leverage available tools, technologies and data, including Geographical Information Systems, to advance forecasting capacities.