Wed | Nov 29, 2023

Jamaica records dengue-related death, increase in cases

Published:Friday | September 29, 2023 | 4:59 PM
Persons are asked to play their part in ensuring that dengue cases are minimised.

The Ministry of Health and Wellness is reporting that tests have confirmed a dengue-related death, while three other persons are suspected to have died due to the virus.

The Ministry says the four cases were among a total of six infections that were under investigation.

The number of infections has also gone up.

The health ministry says Jamaica now has 1,060 presumed, suspected and confirmed dengue cases

Of that number, 132 are confirmed dengue cases with the Type 2 strain dominating the infections.

All parishes have recorded dengue cases, with Kingston & St Andrew, St Thomas, St. Catherine, Portland, and St James having the most confirmed infections.  

The health ministry says the 5 –14  age cohort continues to be the most affected, followed by persons 25-59 years old.

Dengue fever is a mosquito-borne disease that is usually a mild illness in which a person may get a fever, headache, joint, and muscle pains.

Rest and adequate hydration are usually enough to see one through the period of illness.

The recommended treatment for the fever is acetaminophen/paracetamol.

Members of the public are urged not to use aspirin, diclofenac, ibuprofen, or any of the medications/pain relievers known as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).

These drugs, the health ministry says, when used to treat dengue have been known to increase the severity of the disease.

On occasions, the illness can progress to severe dengue, which can result in organ failure as well as bleeding and severe fluid depletion that can lead to shock and death.

Persons experiencing fever, vomiting, severe abdominal pain, bleeding under the skin (petechial rash), feeling very weak, or getting confused are to seek immediate medical attention.

The public is also reminded that the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which causes dengue, breeds in any containerised environment; that is in anything that can hold water.

Some of the common breeding sites for the Aedes aegypti mosquito are drums, tyres, buckets, and animal feeding containers.

Persons are asked to play their part in ensuring that the dengue cases are minimised by monitoring water storage containers for mosquito breeding; keeping surroundings free of debris; destroying or treating potential mosquito breeding sites; wearing protective clothing and using a DEET-containing mosquito repellant.

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