Mauritius is facing a particularly virulent dengue epidemic this year, with even the first death attributed to the disease. Health authorities are sounding the alarm and calling for increased vigilance on the part of the population, urging them to take preventive measures to control the spread of mosquitoes.
The dengue epidemic, which began on December 11, 2023, appears to be much more severe than the one observed between June and August of the same year. In the space of just seven weeks, according to the Council of Ministers, there were 408 active cases of dengue fever in Mauritius, 85 of whom were hospitalized in public and private hospitals. In Rodrigues, from January 19, 2024 to February 08, 2024, 198 new cases of dengue fever were recorded, including 134 active cases and 18 hospitalized patients. On February 07, 2024, the Prime Minister chaired a meeting with relevant stakeholders to review the situation and the measures taken by the various Ministries/Authorities to combat the spread of the disease, as well as its treatment and prevention.
The Port-Louis region and surrounding areas are particularly hard hit. The country currently has around 180 active cases of dengue fever. This disease, transmitted by Aedes Albopictus mosquitoes, also known as tiger mosquitoes, causes intense fevers and can spread rapidly.
To deal with this situation, the Ministry of Health has set up a triage and follow-up protocol for patients suffering from the disease. Home follow-up units have been set up in each regional hospital to provide care for patients with less severe symptoms.
The Ministry also recommends that anyone suspecting infection should visit a clinic or hospital for rapid tests. In the event of a positive result, further tests will be carried out to assess the severity of the illness and decide on the appropriate treatment.
You are strongly advised to be particularly vigilant at times when mosquitoes are most active, notably between 5 and 7 am and between 4 and 7 pm. Wearing long clothing and using repellents are recommended measures to protect yourself. People with weakened immune systems should avoid going out during these periods.
In parallel with this dengue epidemic, the country remains on alert for the risk of cholera. Although cases have been reported in some neighboring countries, no incidence has been reported in Mauritius to date. The authorities are keeping a close watch to prevent any possible spread of this serious disease.
There have been reports of cholera in Mozambique, Comoros and even Madagascar. However, no incidence of the disease has been reported in Mauritius, La Réunion or the Seychelles to date.
In Comoros, where cases of cholera have been detected, health authorities suspect that the disease was introduced by a boat from Tanzania at the end of January. Reinforced border surveillance measures have since been put in place.