Schools on high alert after dengue outbreak

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dengue.jpgThe education ministry has put school administrators on high alert in light of the dengue outbreak which the island is now experiencing, urging them to take necessary measures to protect the school population.

In a bulletin ahead of the reopening of school today the ministry has advised administrators to "free the school environment of mosquito breeding sites such as old tyres and containers in which water can settle, tins are punched with holes before disposing, and large drums, barrels and tanks holding water are securely covered".

The ministry has also advised that public health teams from the Ministry of Health will be visiting schools to ensure that the necessary measures are implemented.

Last week the health ministry told the country that the mosquito-borne virus had surpassed the epidemic threshold for the month of December, with 123 case reports.

At an emergency press conference Minister of Health Dr Christopher Tufton stressed that: "This exceeded the outbreak threshold of 96 cases for December - the first month for 2018 in which the number of cases exceeded the outbreak threshold. As at today, 830 reported cases have been classified as suspected, presumed or confirmed".

The ministry says it has implemented a number of response measures, including the extension of the enhanced vector control programme up to March 2019 to include the employment of an additional 500 temporary workers to identify and eliminate mosquito-breeding sites.

Opening hours for a number of health facilities have been extended to 8:00 pm, and an extended public education campaign is also being rolled out, with public service announcements regarding mosquito breeding sites, symptoms of dengue and personal protection tips being shared across media platforms, the ministry said.

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