Health officials are continuing to monitor the country for any
dengue-fever outbreak, assures Julene Mannix, the acting principal
public health inspector at the Central Board of Health (CBH).
Mannix says the CBH has been closely monitoring other countries
where there have been instances of persons contracting dengue.
The illness has already been confirmed in neighbouring Montserrat,
and reports say that a young boy in Trinidad & Tobago has died from
the mosquito-borne disease.
While she could not give any information on the current status of
dengue in Antigua and Barbuda, Mannix reminds the public that the
sickness is endemic to this country.
She says this is why health officials continue to update the public on
the dangers of being bitten by the Aedes Aegypti mosquito – which
is the carrier of dengue – and what precautions can be taken to
prevent mosquitoes from breeding around the home.
Mannix says that officials are also working with Barbuda to ensure
that residents are apprised of any new developments, and so that
checks can be carried out there.
She says that people continue to keep containers around their
homes – breeding mosquitoes – and, thus, education is key.
According to Mannix, the main sites for breeding are drums and
buckets; therefore, any water-storage container must be properly
covered in order to prevent mosquitoes from multiplying.
The public-health officer says that CBH focuses on preventative
measures and is not waiting until there is an outbreak of the disease.
So, in addition to its current monitoring activities, the agency will be
stepping up its education drive.