The Ministry of Health, Wellness and the Environment would like to notify the general public about an update regarding dengue fever, H1N1 (swine flu) and gastroenteritis in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.
1. Over the past six weeks there has been one confirmed case of the dengue fever. The Ministry of Health, Wellness and the Environment continues to monitor vector activity and vector control measures remain in effect. Visitors and residents alike are reminded to protect themselves from mosquito bites and avoid creating conditions for mosquito breeding.
2. Over the past six weeks, persons reporting fever and respiratory systems, typical of the flu, remain within normal levels for the period under review. Persons are reminded to practice hand hygiene and cough etiquette in order to minimize the spread of viral illnesses. While Influenza A H1N1 is endemic to Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, no confirmed cases have been reported during the last six weeks. Even though the flu vaccine is not available within the public health care sector, it is available in the private sector.
3. Saint Vincent and the Grenadines has noted an increase in the number of persons reporting symptoms suggestive of viral gastroenteritis through the National Syndromic Surveillance System:
Gastroenteritis, is a condition characterized by the inflammation of the stomach and intestines. It can be caused by infection with bacteria, parasites or viruses, such as norovirus, rotavirus, sapovirus or astrovirus.
Symptoms usually appear 12 to 48 hours following infection and generally last for one to three days. Symptoms of viral gastroenteritis include vomiting, nausea, diarrhea and stomach cramping. Other symptoms may include low-grade fever, chills, headache, muscle ache and fatigue.
To decrease your chances of contracting or spreading this virus, it is important to practice good hand-washing and other hygienic practices.
Frequently wash your hand with soap and running water especially after using the restroom, changing diapers, before eating and before preparing food.
Wash fruits and vegetables thoroughly before eating.
If unwell, do not prepare food for others.
If you are ill, stay at home from work and school, especially if you work in food handling, healthcare or childcare.
Surfaces contaminated by diarrhea or vomit should be cleaned and disinfected (by using 1 part 5.25% bleach to 9 parts water), immediately.
If you require additional information, please contact your nearest health care facility or physician.
SOURCE: Ministry of Health, Wellness and the Environment