Rise in dengue cases is a trend, not an outbreak, Health official says, but mosquito fogging to be increased

While the media continue to report a high number of dengue-fever
cases in Antigua and Barbuda, there has been no official statement
on the matter from Ministry of Health officials.

Media reports claim that cases are on an increase, allegedly
exceeding the numbers from 2019.

Reportedly, there are 43 confirmed cases, so far. But Acting Chief
Medical Officer Dr. Teri-Ann Joseph is quoted as saying this high
figure is not yet considered an outbreak; rather, it reflects a regional

It is now the rainy season and with two storms having passed
recently, the mosquito population is on the increase.

Several breeding grounds have been created, including potholes;
uncleared gutters where water has become stagnant; and even
private premises where water has settled or containers are not
properly covered.

The Cabinet addressed vector control during its recent sitting,
confirming that there has been an increase in the mosquito
population because of recent rainfall.

However, no mention was made of the number of dengue-fever
cases – which can be deadly.

What the Executive did say is that the rise in the mosquito
population is of particular concern, since they are carriers of several
diseases that affect humans, including malaria and Zika.

Therefore, it claims, the Vector Control Unit will be provided with
funding to enable it to increase control activities across the country.
Fogging exercises, the Executive says, have proven to be an effective
vector-control method, and this activity is to be increased in the
coming days.

So far this year, there reportedly have been over 3.5 million dengue-
fever cases in the Caribbean and Latin America.