Mon | Nov 12, 2018

Steps taken to prevent spread of malaria after boat with Nicaraguans intercepted - health ministry

Published:Thursday | November 8, 2018 | 1:48 PM

The Ministry of Health is assuring the public that measures have been taken to restrict the spread of Malaria beyond the three Nicaraguans who were diagnosed with the virus on a fishing boat that was rescued in Jamaican waters.

In a release this afternoon, the health ministry said: "Vector control activities, including disinsection of the vessel, was conducted and are ongoing as per standard operating procedures."

The health ministry stressed that "of note, no breeding sites with the Anopheles mosquito, which transmits malaria were found in any of the locations the members of the crew accessed".

According to the Jamaican health authority, the Jamaica Defence Force Coast Guard notified it that a Nicaraguan vessel with 93 persons aboard was intercepted in Jamaican waters on Tuesday.

It said the Kingston and St Andrew Health Department carried out the requisite procedures and it was during that process that two of the men aboard the vessel were diagnosed. They were taken to the Kingston Public Hospital (KPH) where they were isolated and treated. A third man from the vessel was diagnosed in a subsequent assessment.

Jamaica was returned to the Malaria free list in 2012 after an outbreak in 2006. The last local case of malaria was in 2009. Since then there have been imported cases of Malaria each year.

"Jamaica has been able to maintain its Malaria free status through surveillance, early detection and rapid isolation and treatment of all cases," the health ministry said.

"We encourage the public to play their part in keeping Jamaica Malaria free by reporting to public health officials any unofficial entry of foreigners," it added.

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