Wed | May 24, 2017

Region warned to prepare for disease outbreak at least 'every two years'

Published:Monday | June 1, 2015 | 6:21 PM
Dr Fenton Ferguson says if ZIKV, a vector borne disease, gets to the region, it would be a new disease.

Health Minister, Dr Fenton Ferguson, says Jamaica and the rest of the region have been warned to prepare for the outbreak of a disease at least every two years.

He says that projection was one of the issues discussed at the recent World Health Assembly in Switzerland.

And he is suggesting that the threat posed by the outbreak in Brazil of the mosquito-borne virus Zika or ZIKV, could be part of the projections.

Dr Ferguson says if ZIKV, a vector borne disease, gets to the region, it would be a new disease.

Meanwhile, he is noting that the prevalence of vector borne diseases have been on the rise.

The Health Minister says estimates indicate that the number of cases of dengue, for example, has increased 30 fold over the last 50 years.

 

Health Minister Dr Fenton Ferguson

Last month, Permanent Secretary, Dr Kevin Harvey, said the ministry is taking the ZIKV threat very seriously as the virus is spread by the Aedes aegypti mosquito which also carries the dengue and Chikungunya viruses.