The Health Ministry has asked the public to take precautionary measures against Dengue Fever as an outbreak strikes in neighbouring Burkina Faso.

A Statement signed by Health Minister, Alex Segbefia, urged the public to “improve environmental conditions to prevent mosquito breeding and protect against mosquito bites.”

The disease is an acute fever caused by a virus through the bite of an infected Aedes aegypti mosquito, which bites during the daytime.

“In Burkina Faso, there were suspected cases of Dengue in August this year and as at November 12, a total of 1,061 probable Dengue Rapid Diagnostic Test (RDT) positive cases, out of which 1,266 suspected cases were reported with cumulative total of 15 deaths (CFR 1.2 percent),” the statement said.

“The World Health Organisation has, therefore, deployed a multidisciplinary team in the 12 districts of Ouagadougou affected by the outbreak to support the response,” the statement added.

The Ministry advised the public to be on the alert for the symptoms and report cases. There are currently no reported cases of the disease the Ministry said.

“Dengue occurs in two forms – Dengue Fever, which presents a febrile illness marked by sudden onset of high grade of fever, severe headache, pain behind the eyes, muscles and joints. The other form, which is more severe, is the ‘Dengue Haemorrhagic Fever (DHF)’, having in addition to the Dengue Fever, bleeding within three to five days of fever and sometimes the occurrence of shocks leading to death. This is most serious in children.”

The Ministry has recommended that the wearing of full sleeves clothes and long dresses to cover the limbs and use insecticide-treated mosquito nets to protect babies, old people and others who may take a rest during the day.

The Ministry also recommended the use of mosquito repellent and coils as well as electric vapour mats during the daytime to control the mosquitoes.

The statement urged all health institutions and their staff to enhance surveillance on Dengue fever and Arbovirus fevers in general (using case definitions).

“Suspected cases of Dengue fever should be investigated and managed in accordance with guidelines and standard operative procedures,” it said.

“Health workers should adhere to regular Infection Prevention and Control measures to prevent and protect against possible nosocomial transmission.

“Blood sample from suspected case(s) should be taken and safely packaged and sent to Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research for laboratory investigations.

“All levels (National, Regions, Districts and Facilities) are requested to update their preparedness and response plans for Dengue and other Arboviruses in general, sensitise the respective staff and create public awareness.”

The Ministry said it had initiated the process for preparedness and response mechanisms such as; epidemiological and laboratory surveillance: risk communication-social mobilisation and health education, which was a major tool in public health.

It also mentioned other interventions as case management logistics, security and financial resources, a National Coordinating Committee, National Technical Coordinating Committee and EOC meetings on the issue.