By Aabigayle McIntosh
According to health authorities, there has been an increase in reported cases of Dengue Fever in Antigua and Barbuda.
The Acting Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Teri-Ann Joseph, has cautioned the public that this is not yet considered an outbreak. However, the number of cases reported so far this year has already surpassed the record high of 2019.
“Up until Wednesday we have 43 confirmed cases so we have already surpassed the number of cases in 2019 and again we are not surprised because it mirrors what we are seeing in the region and of course, that is something that was forecasted. We are not happy that the numbers have increased; nonetheless, we are not surprised,” Joseph said.
She further stated that the government has provided more resources to respond to the situation effectively.
“We have increased our interventions in the areas we know have greater problems, but obviously, the rest of the country is not going to be left out,” she said.
The medical official is advising residents to take personal responsibility in ensuring they eliminate all mosquito breeding sites to prevent the spread of dengue fever.
In Latin America and the Caribbean, the number of dengue cases continues to rise, with at least 3,508,157 cases recorded so far in 2023, which is 100,236 more cases than previously reported on 11 September.
Countries such as Jamaica and Barbados have declared a dengue fever outbreak with hundreds of confirmed and suspected cases.
Dengue fever is a viral infection that spreads from mosquitoes to people and is more common in tropical and subtropical climates.
Although most people who get dengue fever won’t have symptoms, those who do may experience high fever, headache, body aches, nausea, and rash.