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Friday, June 24, 2011

Rising dengue fever, leptospirosis in St Lucia

Article from Jamaica Observer :

" Public health officials have warned of “disturbing” levels of dengue fever and leptospirosis cases on the island.

The warning came as the health department launched a public education and clean-up campaign to rid the island of disease-carrying mosquitos and rats.

Public health officials attributed the exceptionally high number of infections to the rainy weather in the aftermath of Hurricane Tomas in 2010, they told journalists yesterday.

Last month, there were over 40 recorded cases of dengue fever, which is spread by the Aedes Aegypti mosquito.

“During the past few weeks we have noted levels of infection that are substantially higher for this time of the year. The rainy season has only just begun and the levels we see now are normally recorded way into the rainy season,” said Chief Medical Officer Dr Merlin Frederick.

So so far this year there were 169 reported cases of dengue fever as compared to 95 cases in 2010 and only 18 in 2009, she said.

The campaign is to target eight large communities. The health department planned to carry out insecticide fogging, community clean-ups, education campaigns and house-to-house inspections."

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