CARPHA calls on Dominica and other regional countries to implement measures to counter the dengue outbreak

The Trinidad-based Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) says it has noted the continued increase, over the past six months, in reports of suspected and confirmed cases of dengue in the Caribbean region. This surge has been particularly notable in member states experiencing increased rainfall. As such, the agency has emphasised the importance of recognizing the associated risks and ripple effects, highlighting that dengue outbreaks, along with other mosquito-borne diseases like Zika and Chikungunya, pose significant threats to health, tourism, and social and economic development.

CARPHA notes that dengue typically causes outbreaks every three to five years, and the recent seasonality of dengue transmission in the Americas and the Caribbean has contributed to record highs in total case numbers and complications. While 2019 was distinct for being the year with the highest reported Dengue cases in the Americas,
CARPHA anticipates that 2023 may surpass that historic high. Up to epidemiological week 40 in 2023, the Caribbean has witnessed a 15 percent increase in confirmed dengue cases in CARPHA Member States (CSM) compared to the same period in 2022.

“Regional health security remains at the fore of CARPHA’s focus. In this regard, any public health threat, such as dengue, that imperils the integrity of our regional response systems must be dealt with in a timely and effective manner and as such demands, that as the Caribbean Community, we mobilise efforts to maximise efficiencies,” said CARPHA’s executive director, Dr Joy St John.

“Member states are encouraged to remain vigilant and flexible with their national work plans and available resources to maximise chances of successful responses. In 2023, four CARPHA member states have reported dengue outbreaks and trends are being monitored in others with subsets of all four dengue serotypes circulating across the region,” she added.

Dr. Horace Cox, CARPHA’s Assistant Director of Surveillance, Disease Prevention and Control, and Head of Vector-Borne Diseases, highlights the presence of the Aedes Aegypti mosquito, responsible for spreading the virus, in all Caribbean territories. As such he stressed the need for better preparation and resilience, especially for vulnerable populations.

For his part, Rajesh Ragoo, Senior Technical Officer for Vector-Borne Diseases at CARPHA, highlighted the importance of maintaining clean surroundings to eliminate mosquito breeding sites.

“We often overlook plant pot bases, vases, buckets and used vehicle tyres. These are typical breeding sites and should be checked frequently. Water storage drums and tanks must be properly covered and inspected periodically to ensure that there is no breeding.

Roof gutters should also be cleaned,” he said, adding wire-mesh/screens on doors and windows also help in reducing the entry of mosquitoes into the home. CARPHA underscores that the mosquitoes spreading dengue are active during the day, making personal preventative measures crucial. It advises vulnerable groups, including infants, young children, older adults, and pregnant women, to exercise extra caution.

Use of long-sleeved clothing and repellents containing DEET, IR3535, or lemon eucalyptus is recommended, following product label instructions. Confirmed cases should rest under mosquito nets. To counter the increase in mosquitoes and potential disease transmission, CARPHA calls for intensified mosquito control activities in communities. Member states are urged to review and strengthen their preparedness and response plans, continue surveillance, early diagnosis, and timely care of dengue and other arbovirus cases. CARPHA encourages member states to leverage available data, tools, and technologies, including Geographical Information Systems (GIS), to enhance forecasting capacities.

Prioritising proper clinical management of suspected dengue cases at the primary healthcare level is emphasised to prevent disease progression to severe forms. The agency remains committed to supporting member states in their vector control efforts, providing capacity-building in integrated vector control strategies. CARPHA stresses the importance of ongoing prevention and control measures, including surveillance, diagnosis, and timely and adequate treatment, while ensuring that healthcare services are well-prepared to facilitate access and proper management of patients with these diseases.

The regional agency has initiated a social media campaign to raise awareness and promote effective prevention and control measures for dengue, which poses a recurring threat to public health in the Caribbean region. While reports from Dominica indicate an uptick in cases, attempts to confirm the situation with health officials have proven unsuccessful when Dominica News Online (DNO) contacted the permanent secretary, the Chief Medical Officer, and the Health Promotion Unit.

Copyright 2012 Dominica News Online, DURAVISION INC. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or distributed.

Disclaimer: The comments posted do not necessarily reflect the views of and its parent company or any individual staff member. All comments are posted subject to approval by We never censor based on political or ideological points of view, but we do try to maintain a sensible balance between free speech and responsible moderating.

We will delete comments that:

  • contain any material which violates or infringes the rights of any person, are defamatory or harassing or are purely ad hominem attacks
  • a reasonable person would consider abusive or profane
  • contain material which violates or encourages others to violate any applicable law
  • promote prejudice or prejudicial hatred of any kind
  • refer to people arrested or charged with a crime as though they had been found guilty
  • contain links to "chain letters", pornographic or obscene movies or graphic images
  • are off-topic and/or excessively long

See our full comment/user policy/agreement.

1 Comment

  1. Let's Face It
    November 29, 2023

    Good idea. They have mosquitoes and dengue but we have sand flies and no-see-ums keeping us indoors so we have different issues all to be managed.

Post a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

:) :-D :wink: :( 8-O :lol: :-| :cry: 8) :-? :-P :-x :?: :oops: :twisted: :mrgreen: more »

 characters available