Ministry confirms Dengue and Gastro outbreak

Aedes Egypti mosquito

by Linda Straker

  • Grenada is currently experiencing significant increases in Dengue and Gastro
  • St George and St Andrew have the highest number of reports

Data from the Ministry of Health shows that Grenada is currently experiencing significant increases in 2 medical conditions when compared to years 2016 and 2017.

“Grenada is experiencing an increase in the number of reports of Dengue Fever above what is expected for this period of the year,” admits Dr Shawn Charles who heads the Epidemiology and Information Unit in the Ministry of Health.

Charles said that as of week 21 which covers the period 20-26 May 2018 the number of cases is similar to what were seen during the same period in 2017, but St George and St Andrew are the districts with the highest number of reports. During the 2017 period, Grenada was experiencing an outbreak of Zika.

A closer look at the data shows that in 2016 there were 15 cases, in 2017 there were 45 cases and in 2018 up to week 21 there were 107 cases. Suspicious cases were confirmed at the local lab and at the Caribbean Public Health Agency lab in Trinidad. The data revealed that females were affected more by dengue – 56.1%.

Charles also confirm that Gastroenteritis is increasing in all parishes, but 2 areas appear to be having increasing cases. “The number of reported Gastroenteritis cases continued to rise in Epidemiology week 21. The district of St Andrew, which is experiencing an outbreak, saw a further rise in cases,” said the Weekly Communicable Disease Surveillance Report from the Epidemiology and Information Unit.

According to the data more men were affected by Gastroenteritis with 57.3% of the 143 cases up to week 21 were males. In 2016 and 2017 there were 46 and 47 cases respectively.

Charles said that the message now is for all to engage in better health practices to reduce and eliminate these medical conditions. “The message of keeping the environment clean cannot be underestimated because keeping the environment clean will help to reduce the increasing number of cases. Dengue and Gastro is endemic here, so we expect a certain number of cases each year but right now we are observing a significant increase for these 2 conditions when compared to previous years,” he said.

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