Chief Medical Officer, Dr. David Johnson, has said Dominica is stepping up surveillance following an outbreak of the mosquito-borne disease, Yellow Fever in Africa.
He said on state-owned DBS Radio that although that the outbreak doesn’t constitute a public health emergency of international concern, it continues to be a serious public health event.
He stated that although there are no cases or suspected cases of the disease in Dominica, the island is part of the global community and Dominicans travel to other parts of the world.
“We have to be concerned and therefore we have stepped up our surveillance,” Dr. Johnson noted.
He stated that one of the things the Ministry of Health has been doing is advising people, Dominicans in particular, who are interested in traveling to countries where Yellow Fever is endemic, to get the proper vaccination.
“In other words, if you intend to travel to a country and the World Health Organization puts out a list of countries where Yellow Fever is endemic or Yellow Fever is actively occurring, and therefore if you as a Dominican citizen intends to travel to these countries, it is your responsibility to contact the public health persons in the Ministry of Health or a community health nurse to ensure that you get the vaccine,” he stated.
Yellow Fever is an acute viral disease, spread by the Aedes Aegypti mosquito.
Common symptoms of the disease include fever, chills, loss of appetite, nausea, muscle pains, and headaches. In most cases, symptoms improve within five days. Yet, in some instances, after apparent recovery, patients may experience fever, abdominal pain, and yellow skin.