Date: Sat, 15 Aug 2009 12:01:07 +0200 (METDST)

MIAMI, Aug 15, 2009 (AFP) - Tropical Storm Ana, the first named weather event of the Atlantic hurricane season, has formed in the ocean and could reach the Leeward Islands by Monday, US government forecasters warned early Saturday.    "A tropical storm watch may be required for portions of the Leeward Islands later today," the National Hurricane Center said in an advisory.

At 9:00 GMT, the center of the storm was located 1,630 kilometers (1,010 miles) east of the islands, according to the center.    But it was moving west at 26 kilometers (16 miles) an hour and "an increase in forward speed" was possible, the meteorologists warned.    But the forecasters differed in their views on whether Ana could ever reach hurricane status. Some said it could eventually become a category two hurricane, while other suggested the storm will dissipate on its approach to the islands.
Date: Thu 27 Nov 2008
Source: SKNVibes [edited]

Weeks of speculation on the existence of dengue fever in the Federation were affirmed yesterday evening (26 Nov 2008) when the Ministry of Health stated in a press release that over 2-dozen cases of the disease have been found.  According to the release, "a number of tests were sent to the Caribbean Epidemiology Center (CAREC) lab for confirmation" by the Ministry of Health, and those tests have finally returned with a positive result.

Rumours of residents suffering from the symptoms of dengue fever were first addressed by the Ministry of Health on 23 Sep [2008] after an upsurge in the number of reported cases in Trinidad and Guyana.  That advisory stated that there were "no reported cases of dengue in St. Kitts and Nevis [but] since the Federation is in relatively proximity to affected areas, prevention and surveillance efforts must be given the highest priority."

Anecdotal reports of the disease then spread like wildfire shortly after the torrential rainfall of Hurricane Omar created numerous pools of standing water in St. Kitts-Nevis -- a major breeding ground for dengue fever's [virus] top carrier, mosquitoes.

The Ministry of Health attempted to allay fears of the disease with a 1 Nov [2008] release, which stated that there still had been no confirmed cases, but it did go on to note that a "number of persons [were] presenting to medical practitioners with fever, pain, and other symptoms and signs suggesting dengue virus infection."

The final confirmation of dengue fever after the CAREC tests means that "the mosquito that spreads dengue viruses remains highly active" in the Federation, the Ministry's release said.  It was further stated that individuals should make it their top priority to "eradicate" mosquito breeding grounds on and around their property by draining any standing water and contacting the Environmental Health Department through their local health center if assistance is required.  [Byline: Ryan Haas]
[Health authorities are to be commended for their vigilance and preparations for the arrival of dengue virus on St. Kits. One hopes that their efforts to reduce vector mosquito breeding sites are successful.  Maps showing the location of St. Kits Island in the Caribbean can be accessed at <> and the HealthMap/ProMED-mail interactive map at <;v=17.333,-62.75,6>. - ProMed Mod.TY]
Date: Fri 17 Oct 2008
Source: Institut de Veille Sanitaire, Point Epidemiologique no. 25 [in French, trans. & summ. ProMed Mod.TY, edited]

The rapid and significant increase in clinical [dengue] cases continued during the 1st week of October [2008], with 230 cases estimated during this week alone. A decline was observed during the 2nd week of October (150 cases). The increase in cases that were laboratory confirmed followed a similar dynamic. However, the number of cases recorded during the 3rd week of October (8 cases) remains high, but still above the maximum expected for this period.

Laboratory confirmed [dengue] cases are spread over the whole island. In total, 8 people were hospitalized in September [2008] (37 percent of which were of severe forms [of the disease]). Since early October 2008, no hospitalizations have been recorded.  Since early September [2008] the DEN-2 [virus] serotype was identified but [the number of virus serotypes] increased (5 DEN-2 and 3 DEN-1).
[This report comes from the French-administered side of the island. The reported 37 percent of severe dengue cases is high, suggesting that the WHO criteria were not being applied or there is significant under-reporting of cases. - ProMed Mod.TY]
Date: Sat 25 Oct 2008
Source: The Daily Herald [edited]

As the dengue epidemic continues to take a hold on the community, authorities announced Thursday [23 Oct 2008] that 72 laboratory confirmed dengue cases have been recorded between 1-18 Oct [2008].  The Dengue Action Response Team (DART) estimates that this figure is likely to surpass the 100 mark before the end of October 2008.The DART Team is calling on every household to take immediate measures to stem the breeding of mosquitoes. "The only way to stop the dengue outbreak from growing is by every household taking mosquito breeding preventive action. By taking measures, you are protecting your family from getting dengue fever," Government Information Service (GIS) said in a press release yesterday [24 Oct 2008].

This month [October 2008], 2 persons have already succumbed to dengue, one from DHF [dengue hemorrhagic fever] and the other of dengue shock syndrome [DSS]. The Island Government has approved an emergency budget of over 300 000 guilders [USD 170 952] to cover a number of interventions related to the local outbreak. The Hygiene Department has also resumed its fogging exercise. Every household is asked to check debris, old tires, and standing clear/clean water in yards as these are the main source and breeding grounds for [_Aedes_] mosquitoes, bringing about an increased risk of mosquito-borne diseases. These areas should be immediately eliminated.
Residents should also immediately check for clear/clean standing water in roof spouts, empty drums, buckets, jars, birdbaths, boats, plant containers, saucers, paint cans, and other items that can collect water around your homes and businesses. "Where clear/clean standing water exists, one can use small amounts of kerosene, just to cover the surface as a measure to prevent mosquito breeding or just get rid of the container.  "In the case of where containers are used for storing water, residents should keep these properly covered and check every 3 days to make sure mosquitoes haven't laid any eggs. Inlets and outlets of cisterns must be covered with a mosquito net or cloth to prevent mosquitoes from breeding in the water."

The 3 types of dengue [viruses] circulating on the island are DEN-1, DEN-2, and DEN-4, increasing the risk for DHF, which is potentially deadly, and DSS, which, if not treated correctly, can lead to profound shock and death.  "Residents are strongly advised to continue to take urgent preventive action against mosquito breeding in order to stem the increase in the number of dengue cases on the island," it was stated in the release.
[This report is from the Dutch side of St. Maarten/St. Martin Island. There is a 2nd suspected case of DHF that was acquired on the island reported by the Daily Herald <>, but the victim may have had an underlying medical condition. The case is under investigation. ProMED-mail requests additional information about the dengue outbreak here and the success of the dengue virus mosquito vector (_Aedes_) control efforts as the campaign progresses.  Maps showing the location of St. Maarten/St. Martin in the Caribbean can be accessed at <>, and the Health Map/ProMED interactive map at <;amp;amp;amp;amp;v=18.067,-63.067,10>. - ProMed Mod.TY]
Date: Thu 10 Apr 2008 Source: Institut de Veille Sanitaire, Point Epidemiologique no. 13 [in French, trans. & summ. ProMed Mod.TY, edited] For nearly 4 months, the number of clinically suspected dengue cases stabilized at around 10-30 cases weekly, remaining at a level close to the epidemic threshold. The same dynamic is observed in laboratory confirmed cases. Since the beginning of the pre-alert in mid-November [2007], it is estimated that 460 people went to a general practice physician for a syndrome compatible with dengue. During this same period, 6 adults with severe forms [of dengue infection] were hospitalised. Since December 2007, DEN [virus] serotype 1, has been most often identified; serotype [dengue virus] DEN 2 has also been circulating. ----------------------- [A map showing the location of the French overseas collectivity of Saint Barthelemy in the Caribbean can be accessed at . The outbreaks discussed in this update can also be found on the HealthMap/ProMED-mail interactive map at . - ProMed Mod.TY]
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