CARPHA Urges Continued Surveillance For Dengue, Chikungunya & Zika – St. Lucia Times

The content originally appeared on: St. Lucia Times News

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The Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) has warned that diseases such as dengue, chikungunya, and Zika are still circulating in the Caribbean.

As a result, the organisation has emphasised the importance of prevention and control measures.

CARPHA Executive Director Dr. Joy St. John noted that the agency remains committed to strengthening public health systems for early detection and response to the emergence, re-emergence, and spread of arboviral infections.

“The CARPHA Medical Microbiology Laboratory (CMML) has the capacity and remains ready to test and provide diagnostic confirmationof suspected cases in the Region,” St. John explained in a release.

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However, she asserted that member States must maintain a strategicapproach to surveillance and sample collection and submission to increase the chances of early identification of infections.

At the same time, Dr. St. John is also encouraging people to eliminatepotential mosquito breeding sites in and around their homes.

In addition, given the increase in regional and international travel to the Caribbean and the presence of the Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, which are endemic to this Region and transmit dengue, chikungunya and Zika, CARPHA urged its Member States to strengthen routine surveillance for undifferentiated fever in their communities.

CARPHA said it is also critical for Ministries of Health to continue public education campaigns to remind people of the importance of keeping their surroundings free of mosquito breeding sites and avoiding mosquito bites.

Dengue, chikungunya, and Zika are associated with moderate to severe health consequences.

Young children and older age groups are at higher risk.

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