Jamaica Declares Outbreak of Dengue Fever with Over 500 Cases
Health officials in Jamaica have declared an outbreak of dengue fever, as the number of suspected, presumed, and confirmed cases has reached at least 565. The country has surpassed the dengue epidemic threshold for July and August, and it is on track to do the same for September.
The dominant strain of the dengue virus is Type 2, which hasn’t predominated since 2010. While there have been no reported deaths directly attributed to dengue at this time, six deaths are currently being investigated for possible links to the virus.
In response to the outbreak, the Ministry of Health has deployed approximately 500 temporary vector control workers and 213 permanent workers to high-risk communities. These workers will focus on eliminating mosquito breeding grounds and raising awareness about dengue prevention measures.
Dengue viruses are primarily spread through the bite of infected Aedes species mosquitoes. Common symptoms include nausea, vomiting, rash, body aches, and pains. Most people infected with dengue will experience mild symptoms and recover within a week. However, about 1 in 20 individuals will develop severe dengue, which can lead to shock, internal bleeding, and even death.
The Ministry of Health is urging the public to take preventive measures to minimize the spread of dengue. It is crucial for individuals to monitor water storage containers for mosquito breeding, keep their surroundings free of debris, destroy or treat potential breeding sites, and wear protective clothing. Additionally, using mosquito repellent and staying indoors at dusk with windows and doors closed can help reduce the risk of being bitten by infected mosquitoes.
The Ministry of Health has made necessary preparations for a possible escalation of the outbreak and continues to closely monitor the situation. Public education campaigns are being launched to ensure that residents are well-informed about dengue prevention strategies.
As the Aedes aegypti mosquito, responsible for spreading dengue, often breeds in water-holding containers, it is crucial for communities to remain vigilant in eliminating potential breeding sites. By taking these preventive measures, individuals can greatly contribute to reducing the impact of the dengue outbreak in Jamaica.
– Ministry of Health, Jamaica
– Pan American Health Organization