Horace Fisher, Gleaner Writer
The ministry of health yesterday reported that there were 560 suspected cases of dengue fever across the island.
According to the ministry, this is fewer than the 887 cases for all of 2011 and the 3,202 incidents in 2010 when there was an outbreak.
The ministry however, said it is continuing activities to reduce the mosquito population across the island.
Meanwhile, the Clarendon Health Department has confirmed 20 cases of dengue fever in the parish.
The medical officer of health for the parish, Dr Kimilee Scarlett-Campbell, said the cases were all recorded in northern Clarendon communities including Spalding, Frankfield, Grantham, Sanguinetti, James Hill and Brandon Hill.
According to Scarlett-Campbell, uncollected garbage and the lack of potable water in the affected areas have been contributing to the outbreak.
"If you have uncollected garbage lying around the communities, there is bound to be some medical emergencies. In this case, if garbage is uncollected for weeks, mosquitoes will use it as a habitat to breed and transmit diseases," she told The Gleaner.
"The lack of potable water is also an issue in the affected areas, because persons are rain-water harvesting and storing the water in containers. The water that the folks store in the containers is also being utilised by the mosquitoes as a habitat."
Scarlett-Campbell said the Clarendon Health Department will be stepping up its dengue-prevention programme with a comprehensive education and fogging initiative, especially in affected areas.