Thu | Aug 13, 2020

More than 889 dengue cases in St James since January

Published:Wednesday | September 18, 2019 | 12:17 AMChristopher Thomas/Gleaner Writer

The female Aedes aegypti mosquito
The female Aedes aegypti mosquito


As St James continues to grapple with an increasing number of suspected cases of dengue fever, the health department in the parish is reporting that some 889 suspected dengue cases have been recorded since January. Medical Officer of Health for St James, Francine Phillips-Kelly, provided an update on the health department’s fight against the mosquito-borne virus, during last week’s monthly meeting of the St James Municipal Corporation. “I want to highlight that sometimes the symptoms have not been typical, so for individuals who have the fever, it is very important that they get the appropriate medical information. There are other conditions that will present similar symptoms, some of which are just as detrimental to health, so it would be wisest that individuals seek the intervention of trained personnel and try as best as possible to follow what is advised,” added Phillips-Kelly.The issue of a dengue outbreak erupted in St. James late last month after residents of Norwood complained of an increase in cases of the mosquito-borne disease and accused the authorities of not doing enough to tackle the problem.

During a visit to St James on September 6 to assess the parish’s vector control activities, Health Minister Dr. Christopher Tufton pledged that 30 additional temporary vector control workers would be brought on board to bolster the 63 temporary workers and 11 permanent staff members already on hand. With fears spreading across several communities, Phillips-Kelly is insisting that residents should seek assessments for any suspected dengue cases, especially for children.