Expert: T&T in midst of dengue outbreak

(Trinidad Express) Trinidad is in the middle of a dengue outbreak, Dr Rai Ragbir, the chairman of a special purpose State-board involved in the Government’s fight against dengue, has said.

Ragbir, chairman of the Community Improvement Services Limited, made the statement on Wednesday before meeting with Local Government Minister Chandresh Sharma to discuss plans to combat dengue across the country.

“The number of people infected with the dengue virus is enough to constitute an outbreak,” he said. “An endemic means we have it always, and an outbreak by definition means we have more cases. So if you want to use the terminology outbreak then yes we do have an outbreak,” Ragbir said.

“And it (dengue) will affect each one of our lives and especially for our children. So we have to clean up our environment first,” he said.

Close to 2,000 people have been diagnosed with dengue in the country for the year, Sharma said.
Sharma however shied away from describing the situation as an outbreak.

“There are less than 2,000 infections this year, when we look at the statistics of last year and the year before it seems that we are going to have a lot less than 4,000 (infections). Last year was 4,000, but of course we have a lot more work to do,” he said.

Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday, Foreign Affairs and Communications Minister Dr Surujrattan Rambachan also shied away from the “outbreak” classification.

“We have always had dengue in the country, whether you call it an outbreak or it is dengue. The fact is that dengue is something every government should pay particular attention to and we are taking a very proactive approach in terms of dealing with the situation especially with children,” Rambachan said.

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