Dengue fever outbreaks may be more severe in future, says Bahamas study

first_imgHealthLifestyle Dengue fever outbreaks may be more severe in future, says Bahamas study by: – November 2, 2011 Share Share Share Sharing is caring!center_img Tweet 11 Views   no discussions Image via: topnews.inNASSAU, Bahamas — A proper research facility is needed to assist in the fight against dengue fever, which is becoming more prevalent in The Bahamas, according to a recent study, ‘Dengue Fever: An Emerging Infectious Disease in The Bahamas’, released in The International Journal of Bahamian Studies by The College of The Bahamas (COB) last week.The study’s lead researcher is Sherrie V. Bain, who is an adjunct microbiology instructor at the Keiser University in Florida. According to the study, several recorded cases of the acute form of dengue fever this year (dengue hemorrhagic fever) suggest a trend that dengue fever might return in future with increased severity.“This is not the first time that a dengue fever outbreak has occurred in The Bahamas,” notes the study. “Dengue fever outbreaks also occurred in 1998 and 2003. However, the number of confirmed cases in this year’s outbreak, as of October 2011, is almost seven times that of the last two dengue fever outbreaks combined. On a national level, The Bahamas will need a multi-faceted, preemptive approach that is not simply limited to vector control at the onset of the next outbreak.”The study also notes that the spread of dengue fever will not be curbed by addressing the mosquito population alone.“It is time for the public health sector, as well as The College of The Bahamas, to begin to take measures to develop a comprehensive dengue fever eradication policy in The Bahamas,” read the study. “Although reduction of the Aedes vector population by using insecticide may seem like the obvious route to pursue, it may also prove to be the most difficult goal to accomplish. Even when chemical insecticides are used, the impact on the mosquito population is not permanent.”The study also indicates that due to The Bahamas’ abundance of natural habitats such as mangrove swamps, the application of insecticides might prove ineffective in dengue virus control in the long term.“Having a low density of the mosquito population does not always correlate to having a lower incidence of the disease within a specific geographic location,” read the study. “Therefore, The Bahamas should look beyond simply trying to control the vector population as a lasting solution to eradicating dengue fever. These alternative strategies need to include researching how the disease is transmitted in the mosquito vector, as well as how it may be prevented from becoming established in its human hosts.”The study states that emphasis should to be placed on developing a national infectious disease research centre that will focus primarily on discovering drug and vaccine targets against diseases such as dengue fever.“This is an objective that will require the participation and partnership of multiple governmental and private organizations within The Bahamas,” notes the study. “The Public Health Authority and the Department of Environmental Health will have to share intellectual and material resources to successfully establish a national infectious research center in The Bahamas.”By Royston Jones JrNassau Guardian Staff Reporterlast_img

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