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Saint Lucia’s Health Ministry has called on parents, teachers, and students to join the national effort at dengue control and prevention in schools.
In a statement Thursday, the Ministry observed that several countries have reported increased dengue fever cases since the start of the 2023 rainy season.
The statement reminded the public, principals, staff, teachers, parents, and students that mosquito breeding occurs on the school premises.
It noted that the Aedes Aegypti mosquito spreads dengue fever, chikungunya, and Zika.
” As a large number of students, teachers and staff travel to and from school each day, the presence of infective female Aedes Aegypti mosquitoes on school premises can very quickly and easily spread dengue fever at schools,” the Ministry of Health stated.
As a result, the Ministry noted the importance of weekly inspections of school grounds to eliminate or treat potential or active mosquito breeding sites.
The Ministry of Health reported conducting on-the-ground surveillance at all schools with active mosquito breeding sites and eliminating the areas.
It also did fogging to target adult mosquitoes and ensure students were in a comfortable and safe environment.
In addition, the Ministry encouraged teachers, staff, and students to maintain general cleanliness in and around schools by practicing proper disposal of garbage, such as used plastic cups, plates, bottles, wrappers, and other small miscellaneous items that can collect water and become breeding sites for mosquitoes.
It called on parents to look out for the signs and symptoms of dengue fever in their children.
The most common symptoms include fever, headache, pain behind the eyes, muscle and joint pains, and a red itchy rash.
Characteristic in children is the appearance of glands in the neck.
The Ministry of Health appealed to parents to seek medical attention for children exhibiting any dengue fever symptoms.