Health notice: officials have issued a dengue fever alert on mosquito control after one case of one “imported case of dengue” was reported in Bermuda.
The Ministry issued an advisory this weekend, urging residents to check their properties weekly for standing water to reduce the chances of the Aedes aegypti mosquito – known to spread the virus, from breeding.
A spokeswoman for the Ministry of Health said another three suspected imported cases of the virus surfaced recently. But she emphasised that there was no significant risk to public safety at this point in time.
The announcement came after an outbreak of dengue in the Philippines was declared a national health epidemic, where 146,062 cases had been reported between January and July 20 of this year.
The mosquito-borne viral infection causes flu-like symptoms that can develop into a lethal complication referred to as severe dengue.
According to the World Health Organisation, this disease has grown dramatically in recent years to the point where roughly half the world’s population is now at risk, particularly in tropical and subtropical climates.
The spokeswoman noted that Bermuda has maintained “good control” over the mosquitoes capable of transmitting the virus.
“As a result, Bermuda does not have the vector most competent in spreading dengue,” she said.
“Public education about mosquito control continues, including within the setting of the airport for travellers to areas where mosquito-borne diseases are problematic,” she added.
“Community physicians and hospitalists communicate with the Epidemiology Surveillance Unit on case management of suspected cases.
“Actual cases would be managed by supportive care by community physicians, or in hospital as required by hospitalists and infectious disease specialists.”
The spokeswoman said that the King Edward VII Memorial Hospital’s Emergency Department and community physicians work together in early identification and treatment of suspected cases. The Public Health Act requires residents to keep their property free of water build-ups where mosquitoes can breed.”
Properties should be scanned once a week in the summer, and water should be emptied from items like buckets, plant pots, tyres, saucers, plastic tarps and wheelbarrows.