Trinidad and Tobago’s Newsday last week (Sunday, January 06, 2008) reported that there was a fresh outbreak of Dengue in South Trinidad. Newsday writer Cicely Asson, in an article captioned “Dengue fever sends family to hospital,” stated that three members of one family of Corinth Village, Ste. Madeliene, South Trinidad were hospitalized at San Fernando General as a result of Dengue fever. The victims were two males in their 50′s and a 19 year old female.
The results of tests done on a 21 year old male of the said household was not yet available. Two other females, the 43 year old mother of the house and an 83 year old relative of the six strong household were in the clear. However, the latter has since been removed from the house as a precaution since the elderly are more susceptible to the Dengue virus for obvious reasons.
Public Health Inspector John Ramkhelawan of the San Fernando City Corporation (SFCC), the agency responsible for Dengue prevention and control, told the Newsday reporter that on being notified about the three Confirmed Dengue Cases, a team of Vector Control personnel were stationed in and around Corinth. As of Friday, January 04, they were conducting the requisite house-to-house and premises-to-premises inspections for the purpose of identifying all mosquito breeding sites and to destroy the adult Aedes aegypti mosquitoes in circulation there.
PHI’s Ramkhelawan and Alexander Ramnath were said to have personally supervised the Vector operation on Saturday, January 05. “We are doing a radius of at least 150 metres (and) are fogging the immediate environs and will continue the exercise…to make sure the situation is brought under control,” said Ramkhelawan. He further explained that his Vector Control Officers “… did find mosquitoes and (that on the very Saturday were) back doing Dyna fogging which is targeting the adult mosquitoes.”
San Fernando City Corporation worker Chanda Sankar seen here spraying the Corinth Village home of a family, three of whom are in hospital suffering from dengue fever, with a Dyna-Fog Fogger
The Dyna-Fog Fogger is a brand of machine used for thermal fogging, that is a process whereby a formulation of a given adulticide is literally burnt using a propellant such as diesel oil. The smoke generated is what we in the Vector Control business refer to as a “fog.”
A truck mount version of the fogger would be calibrated to release insecticide droplets, measured in microns, to cover a swath of at least 200-300 metres. A handheld machine such as what was used in San Fernando is appropriate for spraying close quarters and for reaching places not readily accessible by motor vehicle.
In the Caribbean, there are many, many communities with no asphalt or concreate roads and can only be covered on foot trails.
The British Virgin Islands’ Vector Control Unit no longer uses the Dyna-Fog Fogger, which for many years had been a fixture in its arsenal of fogging equipment.
Judy Maharaj relative of the dengue fever victims….
Judy Maharaj, a business woman and the matriarch of the affected house told the Newsday that she is pleased with the Vector Control response but that there are “…really plenty mosquitoes in the area and I am taking no chances.”
She would be well-advised not to for her family’s affliction is definitely the tip of the proverbial iceberg. In other words, there could be many more victims.
Asson writes: “Unconfirmed reports (Saturday 05) stated that there are other Suspected Cases of Dengue Fever from other parts of south Trinidad warded at the SFGH.”