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St James residents urge authorities to step up fight to zap dengue

Published:Saturday | August 31, 2019 | 12:12 AMChristopher Thomas/Gleaner Writer


Residents of St James whose loved ones have been affected by dengue are demanding that more effort be put into tackling the illness even as the authorities ramp up efforts to battle the mosquito-borne virus.

Megan Green, a resident of Hendon, Norwood, who lost her nine-year-old daughter to dengue fever in June, believes that not enough is being done to contain the spread of the illness, with more than 4,000 suspected and confirmed cases contracted islandwide since the start of the year. Twenty-one deaths have also been recorded since January.

“My daughter went to school and took sick, and she was vomiting and had a high fever. The doctor did a blood test, and it proved that she had dengue fever,” Green recalled to The Gleaner. “I was sent with a referral to Cornwall Regional Hospital (CRH) and spent five days there with my daughter. In those five days, I saw her vomiting black stuff and passing it in her faeces, and she died on June 15.”

Green is urging the authorities to look into other methods of treating persons who have been diagnosed with dengue fever.


“I think they (authorities) are doing nothing about it because more persons are dying from it. I’d like to see if they could find any medicine aside from the Paracetamol because dengue is really here and the mosquitoes are getting worse,” Green added.

Beverly Clarke, whose infant grandson contracted dengue earlier this week, accused the authorities of not doing enough to treat him or to deal with the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which carries the virus.

“The clinic tested my grandson and found him to be positive with dengue, so they sent the mother to CRH. All they did was wet the baby and give him fever medicine,” said Clarke. “We not seeing nobody come in to fog, and nobody not coming in at all. The dengue outbreak is ‘nuff’ out there.”

Western Regional Health Authority Regional Director Errol Greene said that the health protocols for treating dengue would be reviewed with the region’s doctors next week.

At a press conference this week, the Ministry of Health and Wellness said that St James was one of the parishes most affected by dengue. Kingston, St Andrew, St Catherine, Westmoreland, Trelawny, and St Ann were also named as hotspots.