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Community Alert: Health Department Warns About Dengue Fever

June 1, 2005 — In a press release issued Wednesday, Health Commissioner Darlene Carty warned V.I. residents about the increased risk of dengue fever due to recent heavy rainfall across the territory and the impending hurricane season.
"Residents put themselves at risk if there are old tires, plant containers or empty drums around their homes where water can collect and provide a breeding ground for mosquitoes," Carty said.
"The increase in the mosquito population puts residents at risk for mosquito-borne illness like dengue fever and so these containers should be emptied as frequently as possible."
Carty also suggested repairing screens on windows and doors, wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants, using mosquito repellent containing DEET, and covering infant cribs with cotton mosquito netting.
Symptoms of dengue fever include severe headache, joint and muscle pain, nausea, vomiting, high fever and loss of appetite. A rash may also appear three to four days after the fever begins.
Carty said that seniors and children are at higher risk and that residents should seek immediate attention if they suspect they have contracted dengue fever.
For more information, contact Risk Communication Coordinator Eunice Bedminster at 773-1311, ext. 3240.

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