Dengue alert - Health Ministry warns of higher than usual number of cases
Acting Chief Medical Officer Dr Winston De La Haye yesterday confirmed that a higher than usual number of cases of dengue have being detected locally in recent days.
De La Haye said: "As at the week ending February 20, 2016, there were 23 cases of dengue diagnosed resulting from our increased active surveillance for the Zika virus (ZIKV)."
Dengue is transmitted by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, the same mosquito that transmits chikungunya and ZIKV. Symptoms include pain behind the eyes, joint and muscle pain, weakness, fever and possibly a rash.
Persons are urged to protect themselves from mosquito bites even if they are experiencing symptoms so that they prevent transmission to their family members.
"You can do this by using repellent containing DEET, wearing long sleeved clothing as much as possible, sleeping under a mosquito net and meshing windows and doors to prevent mosquitoes from entering the home," said De La Haye.
"It is also important to ensure that there is little opportunity for mosquitoes to breed.
Despite the efforts over the last few months, several communities still have high levels of mosquito breeding," added De La Haye.
He said the Ministry of Health is calling on residents to take action by destroying mosquito breeding sites.
Persons can destroy mosquito breeding sites by looking for anything around the home, school, churches and business places that may collect water and either cover it, keep it dry, or dispose of it.
Repair leaking pipes and outdoor faucets, cut the grass short and trim shrubbery, clear roof gutters and eaves to prevent water from settling and fill in and drain any low places in the yard such as areas where there are usually puddles when it rains.
There is to date one case of zika confirmed in the island.
Individuals who wish to obtain more information on mosquito borne diseases may call the Ministry of Health or the nearest health centre. Persons may also visit the health ministry's website at moh.gov.jm or like and follow the health ministry on www.facebook.com/themohgovjm; https://twitter.com/themohgovjm; https://instagram.com/themohgovjm.