Care advised as dengue hits 12


06-February-2013

It said due to the recent heavy rain which caused flooding in some areas of Mahé, Praslin and La Digue, the population of mosquitoes is likely to have arisen in such circumstances.

“Since January 28, 12 suspected cases of dengue have been reported to the ministry and one out of the first three samples tested has showed strong indication of a possible recent dengue infection,” said the ministry in a statement.

“The case therefore is considered as a probable dengue case until definitive confirmatory laboratory tests are conducted at the National Institute of Communicable Diseases laboratory in South Africa which is our World Health Organisation collaborating centre along with testing of the other samples.

“The suspected cases of dengue-like syndrome have been reported from La Digue and Mahé and public health measures are in place to control the situation.”

The ministry said several other conditions can look like dengue such as Chikungunya and West Nile fever but added dengue is not new in Seychelles since several epidemics have occurred between 1976-77, in which 80% of the population was affected. Another outbreak was recorded in 1978-1979
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There are four types of viruses that cause dengue infections which are  followed by lifelong immunity against that particular serotype but does not provide long term protection against the other three types. Partial protection in this case can predispose patients to severe life-threatening disease if infected, the ministry said.

Dengue fever is characterised by a severe flu-like illness that affects infants, young children and adults, but seldom causes death.

It  should be suspected in a patient having a high fever (40°C/ 104°F) accompanied by two of the following symptoms: severe headache, pain behind the eyes, muscle and joint pains, nausea, vomiting, swollen glands or rash. Symptoms usually last for about a week after the bite from an infected mosquito. Members of the public experiencing symptoms suggestive of dengue are strongly urged to visit their local facility for assessment and also to take every precautions to avoid mosquito bites.

Severe dengue can potentially be deadly due to fluid loss, breathing difficulties, severe bleeding, or internal organ failure.  A proper medical care is needed to avoid complications.

There is neither specific treatment for dengue fever nor vaccine to protect against dengue.

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