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Dengue is fast off the blocks in Barbados this year, 2012

Posted Sep 16 2012 12:00am
The Barbados Ministry of Health has released its Dengue Fever scorecard for the first quarter of 2012 and the picture does not look rosy at all. In a press release published by Caribseek News , Melissa Rollock of the Government Information Service reports that Classic Dengue was up 15 percent from 2011 and hospitalisations by a factor of 60 percent, though not so much for the complication of Dengue Haemorrhagic Fever (DHF), which was down 50 percent over last year.

The release states that there were 53 Confirmed Cases for the period January to mid-March compared to 45 for the corresponding quarter in 2011. Doctors admitted 10 people to hospital, including 1 for the potentially deadly complication of DHF. At the same time a year ago, four hospital beds had been occupied, 2 for Classic Dengue, the other 2 for DHF.

It is to be expected that yet more persons will come down with DHF as the year progresses for unlike last year when the predominant serotype was Dengue-2, only Dengue-1 was seen in the first three months of 2012. DHF is manifest in patients experiencing their second infection caused by a different virus from the one that made them ill earlier in life. It would not be a stretch to say that  there are a number of naive persons in Barbados who are vulnerable because they had Dengue in the past.

There are four distinct Dengue viruses, Dengue 1, 2, 3 and 4. While a first infection confers lifelong immunity, that somehow paves the way for one to  come down with DHF and DSS (Dengue Shock Syndrome), which could prove fatal for the unlucky soul.

Barbados had a total of 206 Dengue Cases for 2011.


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