Officials with Public Health France have reported an additional 158 biologically confirmed and probable dengue fever cases in one week, bringing the total laboratory confirmed or probable cases to 5,970 since the beginning of the year.

Aedes aegypti/CDC
Aedes aegypti/CDC

This includes 124 hospitalizations and 17 cases of severe dengue.

Despite the entry into the southern winter, the epidemic continues at a sustained level. Moreover, there is an increasing dispersion of cases on the island, especially in the northern and southern communes.

On Tuesday, July 10, 2018, the Prefect of Reunion Island, in consultation with the Director General of the Regional Health Agency (ARS) Indian Ocean, decided to activate level 4 of the specific ORSEC device for the fight against arboviruses: ” Medium intensity epidemic “.

The transition to level 4 of the ORSEC device is accompanied by the launch or reinforcement of several dengue control devices to include:

  • Remobilization of all actors to reinforce coordinated neighborhood cleaning, public awareness and elimination of breeding sites in areas affected by dengue fever.
  • Acceleration of the recruitment of “Pathways-Employment-Skills” assisted contracts dedicated to the reinforcement of cleaning operations of the public space, elimination of breeding places, raising of the population door-to-door or with structures of public reception, etc …
  • Activation of the RSMA in support of vector control: 32 volunteers accompanied by 4 supervisors will carry out during this month of July to the field interventions, including mosquito control, alongside the 120 anti-vector control agents of the ARS OI. They will complete the already reinforced 28 temporary staff and several support missions provided by Mayotte’s ARS OI vector control teams.
  • Progressive deployment of volunteers in civic service  : in order to strengthen communication and information with the general public, volunteers in civic service will soon be mobilized by approved host organizations (local authorities, public administrations and institutions, associations, …) . They will intervene in particular in schools, in centers of holidays and leisure or training, in centers of reception for the elderly, with the disadvantaged people, local authorities, associations of districts, community, cultural, etc
  • Distribution of repellents to target audiences  : in addition to numerous communications regularly reminding the importance of the use of these protective products, a support system by the ARS OI should allow the next return to distribute free bottles of repellents in the immediate circle of infected people, and thus help to limit the spread of the disease gradually.
  • Sensitization of doctors and pharmacists  : GPs will be reminded of the importance of continuing to prescribe biological confirmation to anyone with symptoms of dengue fever, with confirmed cases of dengue being routinely transmitted to the LRA by public laboratories and private island. Doctors and pharmacists will also be sensitized to the importance of promoting prevention.
  • Reinforcement of communication  : At the start of the school year, a new major communication campaign will be launched (radio spots, TV spots, poster campaigns) to continue to remind the population of preventive measures.