Tue | May 23, 2017

Need lots more info on chik-V

Published:Tuesday | October 14, 2014 | 10:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir: I have been following the news diligently and I am not convinced that persons in the Government and academic institutions are giving us enough information about the chik-V outbreak. Did I miss the answers to the following?

How reliable are the tests for chik-V with respect to percentage false positive and false negative expected?

The Government indicated that about half of those tested are negative. Assuming that the tests are reasonably reliable, should we assume that approximately half of the persons experiencing chik-V-like symptoms are affected by some other disease?

Were the persons who have tested negative for chik-V also tested for dengue and other diseases with similar symptoms?

Is the population of Aedes aegypti uniform in Jamaica? If not, is chik-V more prevalent in the areas with large populations of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes?

Usually, the pattern of the spread of exotic diseases can be predicted with models. Have any epidemiologists in the Government or in any academic institutions done any work in this area?

It is clear that we cannot rely on the health system to give even an approximate measure of how many have experienced chik-V-like symptoms over the last few months, which is what the public wants to know. Wouldn't it be useful to conduct polls similar to those done for elections?


Port Antonio, Portland