Sat | Feb 23, 2019

St Catherine recorded 534 dengue fever cases last month

Published:Saturday | February 9, 2019 | 12:58 AM
Minister of Health Dr Christopher Tufton.

PORTMORE, St Catherine:

The Ministry of Health has said dengue fever notifications are trending down in St Catherine, despite the 534 cases recorded last month.

Speaking at the Portmore leg of a Ministry of Health-sponsored responsibility tour held at the Portmore Community College Thursday night, Principal Medical Officer of Health at the National Epidemiology Unit at the Ministry of Health Dr Karen Webster Kerr said recently collected data have shown that 534 dengue notifications were recorded in St Catherine for January, up from 187 last year, of this number 38 eight per cent came from Portmore alone.”

“I am very cautious, but I will say that there seem to be a tapering off of the notifications received in January, and based on the data we are now collecting, it is possible we could see a downward trend moving forward,” she told The Gleaner.

TYPE 3 STRAIN

“The majority of these notifications were for the Type 3 strain of the virus,” Webster Kerr added. She was not able to say what percentage was for the deadly dengue haemorrhagic fever.

Health officials in the parish reported in January that of the 187 notifications received last year, eight per cent were for dengue haemorrhagic fever.

Meanwhile, Health Minister Dr Christopher Tufton touted what he described as a multipronged approach by the Government to control the spread of the virus. This includes the hiring of more health workers both permanent and temporary to step up the education drive and identification of breeding sites in homes, the destruction of breeding sites, and the advancement of scientific methods to control theAedes Aegypti mosquito population, the vector that transmits the virus.

EFFECTIVE GOVERNMENT

“The vector that spread the disease is here to stay, so as a government, we have to find ways to deal with the crisis. I am pleased with the Government’s efforts they are proving to be effective in the fight against the disease,” Dr Tufton told the gathering.

“We have made progress over the years, and based on the data that we are seeing at the ministry, indications are that we are at the peak level and we should begin to see a downward movement,” Tufton revealed amplifying the view of his health professionals.

He said allocations are currently been made to members of parliament, councillors, the National Solid Waste Management Authority, the National Works Agency and the Health Ministry.

“You are looking at a few million dollars that would have gone to the Portmore council, and so it is a matter for the council to come together and combine their efforts working with the respective MPs and public health team in the parish and join forces with other agencies to be a formidable force to create awareness and control the breeding sites,” Tufton told the Gleaner.

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