The Caribbean Public Health Agency-CARPHA is warning members of the public to “gear-up for the possibility of a major outbreak of dengue fever in 2018.”

In a statement on Thursday the agency said this is because as before, the pre-conditions of abundant mosquito vector levels still exist and increased levels of dengue are being reported in Latin America and elsewhere.

Speaking with News Power Now this morning the agency’s executive Director  Dr James Hospedales said the statement was based on the current trend throughout the Region.

He said efforts must be stepped up to stop mosquitoes from breeding and biting, especially to protect pregnant women and vulnerable populations from illness.

Dengue symptoms typically begin four to ten days after infection. This may include a high fever, headache, vomiting, muscle and joint pains, and a characteristic skin rash.  This illness can evolve to severe dengue, characterized by potentially deadly complication due to intense and continuous abdominal pain or tenderness &persistent vomiting.