Severe Dengue Prevalent in the Caribbean

U.S. Virgin Islands escapes dengue outbreak
Dengue vaccines in Virgin Islands
U.S. Dept of State Virgin Islands
Charlotte Amalie (Vax Before Travel)

As 2022 comes to a close, a U.S. territory in the Caribbean Sea continues reporting a significant number of severe dengue cases. 

The Commonwealth of Puerto Rico reported 849 confirmed dengue cases and 126 probable as of December 16, 2022.

This data contrasted with 2021, when only 81 confirmations and 64 probable dengue cases were reported.

To combat this measurable increase, Puerto Rico recently launched a multi-phase dengue vaccination campaign in the San Juan area, with results expected in early 2023. 

And according to the Pan American Health Organization's (PAHO) Arboviral Situation Summary issued on December 28, 2022, Puerto Rico (3.51%) and the British Virgin Islands (9.09%) lead the Region of the Americas reporting severe dengue cases this year.

Fortunately, the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) of Saint Croix, Saint Johns, and Saint Thomas have bypassed these dengue outbreaks.

But the USVI is considered endemic for the disease, meaning dengue cases or a dengue outbreak can occur anytime.

Currently, there are no travel notices in effect for visiting the USVI.

However, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention does suggest several routine vaccinations before visiting the USVI, but not for dengue.

The CDC says to check the vaccines and medicines list and visit your doctor or pharmacist at least a month before your trip to get the necessary vaccines or medicines. 

There are no border controls when arriving in the USVI from any departure point in the U.S. 

As a U.S. territory, Americans can visit and work without special visas.

Charlotte Amalie is the capital of the USVI and St. Thomas Island.

The USVI also saw a rapid increase in new airlifts during the pandemic.

The U.S. Transportation Security Administration data showed that the USVI was the fastest-growing location for total airlift capacity in the Americas from 2019 to 2021. 

As of late 2022, about 1.5 million people have visited the USVI this year.

Disclosures: Data used in this news article originated from various government sources.

Our Trust Standards: Medical Advisory Committee