25 Jun 2013 08:50
WINDHOEK, 25 JUN (NAMPA) - The Ministry of Health and Social Services (MoHSS) has cautioned all travellers to Namibia experiencing any symptoms of Dengue Fever to report to the nearest health facility.
In a statement issued here on Tuesday, Permanent Secretary (PS) in the MoHSS Andrew Ndhishishi said this came after a patient in the Okahandja State Hospital showed symptoms and signs of dengue fever on 23 June 2013 after visiting family members in Angola.
Dengue fever, also known as breakbone fever, is an infectious tropical disease caused by the dengue virus which is transmitted by several species of mosquitoes.
Ndhishishi said dengue fever should be suspected when a high fever of about 40 degrees celsius is accompanied by two symptoms of either severe headache, pain behind the eyes, muscle and joint pains, nausea, vomiting, swollen glands or rash.
He said symptoms usually last for two to seven days after an incubation period of four to 10 days following the bite from an infected mosquito.
The PS noted that his ministry received a World Health Organisation alert that an outbreak of dengue fever has been reported in Angola in May 2013.
He said the infection causes flu-like illness, and occasionally develops into a potentially lethal complication called severe dengue. Dengue prevention and control solely depends on effective vector control measures.
Ndishishi said precautionary measures were taken, that is, isolation of the patient, a blood sample taken to be analysed at the Namibia Institute of Pathology (NIP), and results are still awaited.
He added that the patient was then transferred to the Katutura Intermediate Hospital to the Isolation Ward for further management.
?Interviews with the family members in Okahandja revealed that no one has experienced similar symptoms, however, the MoHSS team continues to monitor the situation,? Ndishishi said.
The permanent secretary further cautioned members of the public to take note of the symptoms and transmission of dengue fever, and any person with such symptoms should report to the nearest health facility.
Ndishishi also directed all health workers and health facilities to report case-based information immediately to the appropriate levels, and suspected cases should be isolated from other patients and strict barrier nursing techniques implemented.
?Standard infection control precautions should be enhanced throughout the healthcare setting; treat and manage the patient with supportive care; and collect specimen to confirm the case(s),? he directed.