Date: Tue, 9 Jul 2013 09:19:21 +0200 (METDST)

MIAMI, United States, July 09, 2013 (AFP) - Tropical Storm Chantal barrelled toward the Lesser Antilles islands in the Caribbean Sea on Tuesday on its way to the Dominican Republic and Haiti, the US National Hurricane Center reported.  As of 0600 GMT Chantal was located about 250 kilometers (155 miles) east of Barbados packing maximum sustained winds of 85 kilometers (50 miles) per hour, the NHC said.   The storm is moving in a northwesterly direction at 43 kilometers per hour (26 mph).   Chantal's center will sweep through the Lesser Antilles later Tuesday morning and into the eastern Caribbean, and approach the Dominican Republic on Wednesday, the hurricane center said.

Besides Puerto Rico and the southern coast of the Dominican Republic, tropical storm warnings are in effect for the French islands of Martinique and Guadeloupe, as well as for Barbados, Dominica and Santa Lucia, the NHC said.   Chantal is expected to strengthen during the next 48 hours.   It is also expected to dump two to four inches of rain over the Leeward and Windward Islands, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands and parts of the Dominican Republic and Haiti, with maximum amounts of six inches possible, the NHC said.   Poverty-stricken Haiti, which is still recovering from a devastating earthquake in January 2010, is especially prone to landslides triggered by heavy rain.
Date: Fri 15 Jan 2010
Source: Institut de Veille Sanitaire: Le point epidemiologique - N2 [in French, trans. & summ. ProMed Mod.TY, edited]
<http://www.invs.sante.fr/surveillance/dengue/points_sbsm/2009/pe_st_martin_2009_15_dengue.pdf>

Surveillance of cases clinically suggestive of dengue
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Over the last week (Jan 2010, week 1), we are witnessing a decrease in the number of cases suggestive of dengue seen by general practitioners on the island, with an estimated 100 cases who have consulted [physicians] versus 215 the previous week. However, this number remains very much above the epidemic threshold, and comparable to numbers observed during the 1st 3 weeks of Dec [2009]. Since early Dec 2009, nearly 800 cases clinically suggestive of dengue fever have consulted a general practitioner, averaging over 130 per week. The number of cases clinically suggestive of dengue fever is an estimate, for the entire population Saint Martin, based on the number of people who consulted a general practitioner for a clinical syndrome suggestive of dengue. This estimation is performed using data collected from the network of sentinel physicians.

Monitoring of biologically confirmed cases
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Since early Dec [2009], the number of laboratory confirmed [dengue] cases has varied from week to week but remained well above the epidemic threshold. During the last week, there were 24 laboratory confirmed dengue cases on the island (incomplete data). A total of 123 of laboratory confirmed cases have been identified since early December [2009].

Positivity rate of requests for laboratory confirmation and [dengue virus, DENV] serotypes circulating
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The positivity rates of samples taken has been high since the beginning of Dec [2009], every week ranging from 40-55 per cent. In the 1st week of Jan [2010], 24 of the 44 samples tested were positive (55 per cent). Since the beginning of Oct [2009], 3 distinct [dengue virus, DENV] serotypes circulate on the island: DENV-1, DENV-2 and DENV-4. DENV-2 is prevalent (22 samples of 31; 70 per cent); DENV-1 was found 6 times and DENV-4 in 3 patients. Only DENV-3 appears not to be circulating.

Hospitalized cases
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During the 1st week of January [2010], 4 children with laboratory confirmed dengue were treated in hospital. One of them had a severe form requiring a transfer to the University Hospital of Pointe-a-Pitre, where he is currently hospitalized. The other 3 children had non-severe disease.

Spatial distribution
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The study of the geographical distribution of laboratory confirmed cases shows a distribution of cases across the island. However, the Concordia neighborhood and the areas between Grand Case to Baie Orientale have been most affected since late Nov [2009].

Situation analysis
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In Saint-Martin, the dengue epidemic continues. Although the number of cases does not seem to increase, there were still hospitalizations during the past week from a severe form [of the disease]. The epidemiological situation is still in Phase 3 of PSAG of the Northern Islands as an epidemic phase.
======================
[It would be of interest to know the current dengue situation on the Netherlands Antilles (Sint Maarten) half of the island.

A map of Saint Martin in the Caribbean can be accessed at
<http://www.worldatlas.com/webimage/countrys/namerica/caribb/stmartin.htm>.

A HealthMap/ProMED-mail interactive map of Saint Martin can be accessed at
<http://healthmap.org/promed/en?v=18.1,-63.1,6>. - ProMed Mod.TY]
Date: Tue, 1 Sep 2009 23:32:21 +0200 (METDST)

MIAMI, Sept 1, 2009 (AFP) - A swirl of bad weather developed into Tropical Storm Erika Tuesday just east of the Caribbean basin near the northern Leeward Islands, the US National Hurricane Center said.   Island governments across the region issued storm watches in preparation for the arrival of Erika, which at 2100 GMT was moving west-northwest at a steady nine miles (15 kilometers) per hour, the Miami-based NHC said.   Maximum sustained winds were almost 50 miles per hour (85 kilometers per hour), and "some slow strengthening is forecast during the next couple of days," the center said.   A tropical storm has winds of up to 105 mph (165 kph) before it is classified as hurricane force.   On its current route Erika was expected to remain northeast of the Leeward Islands.

Tropical storm watches were issued for the Netherlands Antilles, Antigua, Barbuda, St. Kitts, Nevis and Anguilla as well as the islands of St. Martin and St. Barthelemy.   The Atlantic hurricane season began on June 1 and ends on November 30.   So far, 2009 has seen one of the calmest starts to the hurricane season in a decade, which researchers have attributed to the development of an El Nino effect in the Pacific.   Meanwhile, Hurricane Jimena in the east-central Pacific weakened to a Catergory Three storm as it bore down on Mexico's Baja California peninsula.
Date: Thu 25 Oct 2007 Source: The Daily Herald (St. Maarten) [edited] As some parts of the Caribbean and Latin America continue their efforts to stem the tide of dengue cases, the Netherlands Antilles is keeping a close eye on the situation. Of the 269 lab tests for dengue done in the Netherlands Antilles between January and early October [2007], 165 were suspected dengue cases, 53 were confirmed to be dengue fever, and one case in Curacao was confirmed to be dengue hemorrhagic fever [DHF]. The report Update Dengue Fever 2007 compiled by the Curacao-based Epidemiology and Research Unit shows that no lab tests were done for Saba and St Eustatius so far this year [2007]. According to the report, a total of 25 dengue lab tests were done for St. Maarten between January and early October [2007]. Of these, 14 were suspected cases, 4 were confirmed to be dengue fever, and 7 tested negative. The monthly breakdown shows that the highest number of suspected dengue cases for St Maarten (4) was reported in August [2007], followed by January [2007] when 3 cases were reported. The last confirmed dengue case (one) was in September [2007]. The other confirmed cases were in March (2) and July (one). In Curacao a total of 195 tests were done, 37 of which were confirmed dengue cases, 125 were suspected cases, 32 were negative, and one was confirmed dengue hemorrhagic fever. In Bonaire a total of 49 tests were done, 12 of which were confirmed dengue fever, 26 were suspected cases, and 11 tested negative. The data for the report were compiled thorough a laboratory-based surveillance system, a collaboration between Analytic Diagnostic Centre (ADC) and the Epidemiology and Research Unit of the Medical and Public Health Services. Head of the Preventative Section of Sector Health Care Affairs (SHCA) in St Maarten, Dr Rachel Eersel, who had stated earlier that 11 suspected cases had been reported via the local health surveillance system, said the figures in the report did not show any alarming trends in St Maarten. She had said earlier that some 11 suspected cases of dengue had been reported on the island for the entire year 2006. The figures in the report, Eersel said, are from lab tests done by the ADC lab in St Maarten and do not include figures from French St Martin. She said some people went to the French side for their tests and SHCA was working with French St Martin health authorities to get a clearer picture of the number of cases for both sides of the island. She said a close eye was being kept on the situation. Head of the Veterinary and Hygiene Department, Tony Boyrard, had told this newspaper in an earlier interview that the current weather conditions were not favourable for fumigating. "We are monitoring everything and it doesn't make sense to do fumigation at the moment," Boyrard had said, "because when it rains the residue of the insecticide that will be left on trees will be washed away and won't have any real effect. If we fumigate right now we also risk the mosquitoes developing a resistance to the insecticide and if we do get a dengue outbreak here it will be twice as difficult to control it." Boyrard had said fogging would start as soon as weather conditions permitted. [byline: Judy Fitzpatrick] ---------------------------- [Spraying trees with insecticides would be of limited value in controlling _Aedes aegypti_ mosquitoes, as these dengue virus vectors breed and feed in and immediately around human habitations and other buildings. The key to long term vector control is elimination of the water catchments in which this mosquito breeds. A map of the Netherlands Antilles can be accessed at . - ProMed Mod.TY]
Date: Sat, 1 Sep 2007 18:15:50 +0200 (METDST) MIAMI, Sept 1, 2007 (AFP) - Tropical Storm Felix is strengthening in the eastern Caribbean and could grow into a full-fledged hurricane Sunday, the US National Hurricane Center said Saturday. A tropical storm warning was issued for the Netherlands Antilles -- Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao -- as Felix's maximum sustained winds hit 105 kilometers (65 miles) per hour, the center said. At 1500 GMT the storm was located over the eastern Caribbean north of Carupano, Venezuela and west of Grenada and was moving west at 30 kilometers (18 miles) per hour. A warning for storm winds and heavy rain was issued for the Venezuela coast and the island of Margarita. The storm's course meant it would likely pass to the north of the Netherlands Antilles Sunday morning and would head toward Nicaragua's and Honduras' eastern coastlines and Belize, where it could make landfall Wednesday unless the course changes. If it develops into a hurricane, Felix will become the second hurricane of the three-month-old Atlantic season. Last week Hurricane Dean swept through the southern Caribbean with severe winds and rains, leaving a wide swathe of damage and a death toll of 30 from Martinique to Mexico.
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