Wed | Aug 23, 2017

Four additional cases of chikungunya confirmed

Published:Sunday | August 31, 2014 | 8:00 AM
Ducasse

The Ministry of Health has confirmed four additional cases of chikun-gunya, bringing the total number of confirmed cases for the country to 21.

According to the health ministry, 18 of the cases are from local transmission, two were imported and one considered cryptic due to the uncertainty of whether the virus was contracted while travelling overseas or from a household contact.

Director of emergency, disaster management and special services at the health ministry, Dr Marion Bullock DuCasse said the positive results were received yesterday from samples sent to the Caribbean Public Health Agency.

The affected parishes remain St Thomas, St Catherine, St Ann, and Kingston and St Andrew.

destroying breeding sites

According to DuCasse, given the recent rainfall which affected the island, it is even more imperative that Jamaicans are vigilant in looking for and destroying mosquito breeding sites in their environment.

"Mosquitoes can breed in anything that collects water. The recent rainfall has created even more opportunity for containers to collect water and become mosquito breeding sites.

"At this time, persons should also ensure that they cover containers used to store water since we are still experiencing drought conditions. Uncovered drums and water tanks have been found to be the main breeding sites for mosquitoes."

Chikungunya is spread by the bite of an infected Aedes aegypti mosquito, which is generally found in and around places where people inhabit.

Persons are urged to search for and destroy mosquito breeding sites by getting rid of old tyres and containers in which water can settle, punching holes in tins before disposing of, and covering large drums, barrels and tanks holding water.

DuCasse added that indivi-duals should ensure that they protect themselves from mosquito bites by using insect repellent containing DEET, covering their body as much as possible by wearing long-sleeved clothing, for example, and putting mesh on doors and windows.

For more information, persons may contact the health ministry's emergency operations Centre at 1-888-663-5683 or 1-888-ONE-LOVE.