No dengue outbreak in Jamaica, says health minister
KINGSTON, Jamaica – The Jamaica government says there’s no outbreak of dengue fever even as the Opposition Spokesman on Health Dr Dayton Campbell, raised concern there could be another dengue outbreak on the island this year.
Health Minister Dr Christopher Tufton, has sought to assure the population that despite reports, there is currently no outbreak of dengue fever here.
“Since January of this year when we had the dengue outbreak, when it peaked, we have seen a steady decline over those months into May of this year, when we had the last monthly data, which was below outbreak status or threshold… so there is no dengue outbreak,” he said at the launch of the Compassionate Care Programme, at the Noel Holmes Hospital in Hanover, a parish on the north western tip of the island on Thursday.
“From the Ministry’s perspective, we have been on alert in terms of ensuring that we monitor and respond to the trends,” he said, adding that during the current hurricane season, the authorities will be embarking on a number of programmes, including a public education initiative, to raise awareness about mosquito breeding sites.
The Aedes aegypti mosquito is responsible for the spread of the dengue, Zika and chikungunya viruses, and earlier this week, Chief Medical Officer Dr Jacqueline Bisasor McKenzie said that the Ministry of Health had been receiving reports of increased number of infected cases of dengue from the western region.
“Since last week in particular, there has been a rise in the number of cases and we have had a notification of a death that we are currently investigating,” she added.
Campbell, in a statement had said the nine-year-old child had died from dengue fever at Falmouth Hospital in Trelawny, east of here, and that he had been reliably informed that the Paediatric Ward at Cornwall Regional Hospital has several suspected cases of the fever.
The Opposition Spokesman called on Tufton, to immediately inform the country about the dengue situation, noting that if there is an outbreak, it would be the second this year. (CMC)