Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Dengue Fever Prevention

Click image for interactive map
Dengue in Caribbean Regions 
Including Bahamas

We would like to advise you of widespread activity of dengue fever reported
throughout the Caribbean region, with the Bahamas reporting the greatest
activity over the past two months.
Dengue is transmitted through mosquitos
which mainly bite during daytime hours and is not transmitted from person to
person. Health authorities in the Bahamas have instituted control measures
such as fogging and spraying to reduce mosquito breeding sites on the islands
including Princess Cays located on Eleuthera Island, Bahamas.

Prevention is Best Measure 

There is no vaccine available against dengue, and there are no specific medications to treat a dengue infection. This makes prevention the most important step.

Travelers can reduce their risk of infection with dengue fever by protecting themselves from mosquito bites. The mosquitoes that spread dengue usually bite at dusk and dawn but may bite at any time during the day, especially indoors, in shady areas, or when the weather is cloudy. Travelers should follow the steps below to protect themselves from mosquito bites:

  • When outdoors or in a building that is not well screened, use insect repellent on uncovered skin. If sunscreen is needed, apply before applying insect repellent.
    • Look for a repellent that contains one of the following active ingredients: DEET, picaridin (KBR 3023), Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus/PMD, or IR3535. Always follow the instructions on the label when you use the repellent.
    • In general, repellents protect longer against mosquito bites when they have a higher concentration (percentage) of any of these active ingredients. However, concentrations above 50% do not offer a marked increase in protection time. Products with less than 10% of an active ingredient may offer only limited protection, often no longer than 1-2 hours.
    • The American Academy of Pediatrics approves the use of repellents with up to 30% DEET on children more than 2 months old.
    • Protect babies less than 2 months old by using a carrier draped with mosquito netting with an elastic edge for a tight fit. For more information about the use of repellent on infants and children, please see the “Insect and Other Arthropod Protection” section in Traveling Safely with Infants and Children and the “Children” section of CDC’s Frequently Asked Questions about Repellent Use.
    • For more information on the use of insect repellents, see the information on the Mosquito and Tick Protection webpage.
  • Wear loose, long-sleeved shirts and long pants when outdoors.
    • For greater protection, clothing may also be sprayed with a repellent containing permethrin or another EPA-registered repellent. (Remember: don't use permethrin on skin.)
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