Tufton-Jamaica under heightened risk of Dengue outbreak

Screenshot 2023-09-16 at 1.01.47 PM
Dr. the Honourable Christopher Tufton, Minister of Health and Wellness (photo: courtesy of Jamaica Information Service)

The Health and Wellness Ministry is advising that dengue cases are increasing rapidly across the country with 316 suspected, presumed and confirmed cases being reported as at Monday. According to a media release, 38 of the cases have been identified as Dengue Type 2 and one was identified as Dengue Type 4. “The Type 2 strain, which is the dominant strain among the positive cases identified, has not predominated in the population since 2010”, said Portfolio Minister Dr Christopher Tufton, at a press conference at the ministry’s office on Wednesday morning. “The significance of this is that it heightens the risk of a possible outbreak”, he declared.

Tufton revealed that the 316 suspected, presumed and confirmed mosquito-borne diseases reported up to September 11 represented a massive increase when compared to the 65 cases reported for the similar period last year. “For us, it represents a concern – clearly not panic, but a concern – because it is almost five times or a five-fold increase when compared to the corresponding period in 2022, when 65 cases were reported”, Tufton said.     He added that “all parishes have had cases of dengue reported”. Confirmed cases have been detected in Kingston and St Andrew, St Thomas, St Catherine, Westmoreland, Portland and St Ann. “When you look from the population perspective, the parishes… (of) St Thomas, Kingston and St Andrew, and St Catherine have the highest dengue activities at this particular time”, he explained.

Meanwhile, Tufton suggested that the younger population has a higher risk of contracting dengue fever. “It is important to highlight that of the 39 confirmed cases of dengue, a total of 20 belong in the five to 14-year-old age group, and so, the younger population, as stated, it is playing out (there) based on the particular strain, which hasn’t been around in a major way since 2010. So part of the call from the Ministry of Health and Wellness is to encourage parents to treat children who have a fever with paracetamol, and to avoid aspirin and aspirin-like medication”, Tufton advised.

He said while the ministry has mobilised some 500 temporary vector control workers to inspect homes and destroy mosquito breeding sites, citizens have a duty to eradicate such sites.

Similar Posts

One Comment

  1. There is a notable infestations of mosquitoes in the some Kingston 10 and 11 communities. I also understand there is also a new rush of the particular insects in sections of Kingston 3 also. On several occasions over the past three years we have seen personnel from the Ministry of Health and Wellness come to the gates of residents to enquire if they have lying around any barrels or any other containers containing stagnant water that can cultivate mosquitoes. I often points those personnel to the barrels in persons front yards, either storing water in a community where running water is scarce or waiting for two or more weeks on the garbage truck to collect the mounting pile of rubbish. Despite some of the barrels being punctured or covered, after two or more weeks they certainly will become fertile breeding ground for dengue and other diseases. The placid and inoperative Minister is quick to point out what parents can do to keep dengue in check, all well and good. But he has no word on making garbage collecting more vital to proper public health policy. But then again, what can we expect from a health minister under whose custodian some major hospitals across the island are kept in dire dehumanizing conditions!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *