Dengue fever is currently under “surveillance” in the West Indies

Dengue fever is currently under “surveillance” in the West Indies

Public Health France warns of a possible dengue epidemic. In Martinique, Saint-Martin and Saint-Barthélemy, “the situation is calm” for the moment. On the other hand, in mainland Guadeloupe, “two active epidemic foci confirm the persistence of the circulation of the virus at the start of the year”.

If you’re feeling out of sorts with flu-like symptoms (fever, headaches, and body aches), it may be the onset of dengue fever. If in doubt, you can contact your doctor.

In its first regional epidemiological update for the year 2023 published on January 12, Public Health France is currently monitoring clinically suggestive cases and virological indicators in the West Indies. But SpF is not talking about an epidemic for the moment.

In Martinique, Saint-Martin and Saint-Barthélemy, the situation is calm. Various factors (rainy season, flow of travellers, major events) can quickly lead to a deterioration in the epidemiological situation. In Guadeloupe, the presence of two active epidemic foci in the town of Saint-François confirms the persistence of the circulation of the virus at the start of the year.

In Guadeloupe, the presence of two active epidemic foci in the town of Saint-François confirms the persistence of the circulation of the virus at the start of the year. A few sporadic cases of dengue have also been identified in other municipalities in the archipelago. The epidemiological situation, according to the Dengue Epidemic Alert and Management Program, after consultation with the monitoring committee, corresponds to phase 2 level 1: isolated outbreaks or outbreaks with no epidemiological link(s). The DENV-2 serotype has been identified and corresponds to the one that was predominant during the last dengue epidemic in 2019-2021.

The Aedes aegypti mosquito is a vector of dengue fever.

In figures, 18 confirmed cases, around 70 suggestive cases and one hospitalization were confirmed in the sister island, between December 26, 2022 and January 08, 2023. On the other hand, in the three other territories, in Martinique, in Saint-Barthélemy and in Saint-Martin, the counters remained at zero during the period. Public Health France evokes “sporadic cases in times of low transmission”.

According to the World Health Organization, the increase in the number of cases over the past two decades is “alarming”.

The incidence of dengue fever has increased dramatically worldwide over the past decades. A large majority of cases are asymptomatic or mild and the patient can self-treat. This results in under-reporting of the actual number of dengue cases. Also, as with other febrile conditions, many cases are misdiagnosed.

The WHO (January 10, 2022)

The World Health Organization recalls that“there is no specific treatment for dengue”. Patients should rest, stay hydrated and seek medical attention. Depending on their clinical presentation and other factors, affected individuals may be advised to return home, be referred for hospital management, or require urgent treatment and referral to emergency services.

The virus is transmitted to humans through the bite of infected female mosquitoes, mainly of the species Temples of the Egyptians.



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