Persons are urged to ensure they are vaccinated against yellow fever, following a recent increase in the number of deaths within the monkey population in South Trinidad.
According to the Health Ministry, lab testing by CARPHA confirmed the presence of the Yellow Fever virus in samples obtained from the bodies.
The virus is transmitted mainly through the bite of an infected mosquito, and can be spread accordingly from infected primates to humans and other animals.
The Ministry says while the majority of the population would have already been vaccinated against Yellow Fever, persons are still advised to review the Yellow Fever section on their immunization card.
Anyone who has not been vaccinated should visit their nearest health centre to do so as soon as possible.
Parents are also urged to ensure their children are kept current with their vaccination schedules – children should receive their Yellow Fever vaccine when they are 1 year old.
A single primary dose of the yellow fever vaccine provides life-long protection.
Despite this call however, the Ministry emphasizes that there is no outbreak of Yellow Fever at this time.
In fact, it says there has been no human case of Yellow Fever recorded in Trinidad and Tobago since 1979.
The following persons are especially at risk:
• Veterinary personnel
• Laboratory workers who routinely handle wild type Yellow Fever Virus.
• Agricultural personnel who frequent forested areas
• Forest workers
• Adventure seekers (e.g. hikers and campers)
• Defence Force personnel
• Persons residing in or near forested areas
• Health workers that frequent forested areas
• Persons who frequent forested areas.
Anyone who develops the following symptoms should visit the nearest health facility or health care provider as soon as possible:
• Jaundice ( yellow discoloration of the skin or eyes )
• Muscle pain
Severe symptoms include:
• Abdominal pains
• Bleeding of gums