Date: Thu 18 Jan 2008 Source: BVI News [edited] The Ministry of Health and Social Development has received confirmation of 3 additional cases of dengue, bringing the total of confirmed cases in the British Virgin Islands (BVI) to 5 for 2007. Director of health services Dr Irad Potter says that the ministry has so far had a total of 33 suspected cases. Of those cases, 19 proved negative for dengue, 8 are awaiting test results, and one has not been tested. Blood samples are being sent to the Caribbean Epidemiology Centre (CAREC) to confirm the status of the suspected cases of dengue. The specimens take at least 4-6 weeks to be processed. Persons suspected of having dengue are treated based on their clinical presentations to their doctor. As health officials continue to monitor the results of other suspected cases of dengue, residents are urged to guard against mosquito bites and to reduce mosquito breeding around homes and property in order to keep the number of cases of dengue in the BVI to a minimum. Dr Potter noted that in light of outbreaks in the region, persons who have traveled to Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Martinique, and Guadeloupe and are experiencing painful flu-like symptoms of high fever, nausea and painful body aches within 3-14 days of their travel should seek medical attention. Dengue virus, which can also cause a rash in infected persons, is spread through the _Aedes aegypti_ mosquito commonly found in the BVI. The director of health services advised that due to the heightened awareness of dengue in the sub-region, suspected cases are being investigated and followed up to rule out or confirm the presence of the virus. "We are asking the public to be diligent in removing possible breeding sites in the community and around their homes. Survey personal properties and neighbouring properties in search of containers with stagnant water where mosquitoes can reproduce," he said. Environmental health vector control programme manager Mr Minchington Israel noted with the rains that continue to fall periodically within the territory, residents should inspect their premises to identify, remove, or seal any possible water reservoirs. He said this simple activity will help prevent a major upsurge of mosquitoes in the coming days. "All _Aedes aegypti_ inspectors are up and about surveying public and private spaces. However, mosquitoes reproduce at a rapid rate. Therefore, surveys of private and work spaces must be completed by residents themselves to break the mosquito cycle," he said. Mr Israel is reminding residents that mosquitoes lay their eggs in water-bearing receptacles and that the best way of reducing mosquito populations is to destroy all those places where mosquitoes can lay eggs and breed more mosquitoes. All unwanted containers should be destroyed or otherwise disposed of in the community dumpsters or at the Pockwood Pond Incinerator. ---------------------------- [An interactive ProMED-mail health map showing the British Virgin Islands and their location in the Caribbean can be accessed at: . - ProMed Mod.TY]
Date: Thu, 11 Sep 2003 19:08:44 +0200 (METDST) MIAMI, Sept 11 (AFP) - Hurricane Isabel is "extremely dangerous" and has gained strength Thursday as it rages over the Atlantic Ocean and heads west towards the Caribbean's northern Leeward Islands, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said. The NHC said Isabel's maximum sustained winds have increased to 240 kilometers an hour (149 miles an hour) as it bears west at 15 kilometers an hour (nine miles an hour). At 1500 GMT, the eye of the hurricane was located 865 kilometers (537 miles) to the east-northeast of the Leeward Islands on the eastern fringe of the Caribbean. If Isabel continues along its current path, the hurricane is expected to hit seas to the north of Puerto Rico by the weekend. Isabel's effects are likely to be felt along the Puerto Rican and Virgin Islands coastlines in the next couple of days, the NHC warned. The Bahamas island group and the East Coast of the United States could also be affected by Isabel in the coming week, although this depends on the hurricane's future trajectory. Isabel's winds have risen to between 220 and 240 kilometers an hour (137 and 149 miles an hour), and the hurricane is classed as a Category Four hurricane on a scale of one to five, with five being the most severe. For a hurricane to be classified as Category Four on the Saffir-Simpson scale, its winds have to rage between 210 kilometers an hour (130 miles an hour) and 249 kilometers an hour (155 miles an hour). "Fluctuations in strength are common in major hurricanes, and these could occur during the next 24 hours" with Isabel, the NHC warned. The hurricane season, which runs from June 1 to November 30, has been more active than normal this year and has already witnessed six to nine hurricanes, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). NOAA calculated that two to four storms had developed into Category Three hurricanes. Isabel is the second massive hurricane of 2003 to hit the Caribbean, following close on the heels of Hurricane Fabian, which ravaged Bermuda last week. Four people are still missing from Bermuda and the authorities are still clearing up the physical damage from Fabian's passing.
10 April 2001 ROAD TOWN, British Virgin Islands (AP) - A forensic expert ruled out suicide in the death of an American woman whose body was found on a beach in the British Virgin Islands, countering suggestions by the defense that she could have taken her own life. During his testimony on Monday, Nathaniel Cary, a forensic pathologist from Britain, said the idea that Lois Livingstone McMillen could have committed suicide is "laughable." The body of McMillen, a 34-year-old artist from Middlebury, Connecticut, was found on the shore of Tortola on Jan. 15, 2000. She had been vacationing on the island at the time. Four American men are charged with murder in McMillen's death - William Labrador, a 37-year-old financial adviser from Southampton, New York; Michael Spicer, a law student from Albemarle County, Virginia; his companion Evan George, 23, an unemployed construction worker from Washington D.C.; and Alexander Benedetto, 35, who works for a publisher in New York City. Prosecutors say the trial, which began April 2, could last a month. Full article at: http://www.infobeat.com/fullArticle?article=406684888
20 August 1998 Forecasters put the U.S. and British Virgin Islands under a tropical storm watch Thursday as a powerful weather system raced across the Atlantic toward the Caribbean. The watch, alerting residents to possible tropical storm conditions within 36 hours, also was in effect for the northern Leeward Islands of Antigua, Barbuda, Anguilla, St. Martin, Saba and St. Eustatius as the Atlantic hurricane season's second tropical depression gained speed. It was expected to reach tropical storm strength later Thursday and could be a hurricane by the weekend, forecasters said. At 11 a.m. ET, the center of the depression was about 250 miles east-northeast of the Leeward Islands. See http://www.infobeat.com/stories/cgi/story.cgi?id=2555646081-ac3
19 Nov 1999 THE VALLEY, Anguilla (AP) - Slowed to a dangerous, unnerving crawl, Hurricane Lenny pounded the Dutch, French and British islands of the northeast Caribbean on Thursday and left a trail of death and debris in its wake. The late-season storm has killed at least seven people and left three others missing from Colombia to Dutch St. Maarten in the northeast Caribbean. Lenny has rattled nerves throughout the region as it zigzagged along a rare west-to-east course before stalling off St. Maarten. Lenny was "wreaking havoc on St. Maarten and adjacent islands," the U.S. National Weather Service said late Thursday. St. Maarten Lt. Gov. Dennis Richardson said his island was "in a very dangerous situation." See http://www.infobeat.com/stories/cgi/story.cgi?id=2562141943-4ba