JIS News

The Ministry of Health and Environment has stepped up its dengue education campaign to sensitize the public about prevention measures, including reducing mosquito breeding sites, and how to identify the symptoms of the disease.
“Just last weekend the Ministry had an intervention in which several communities were visited and information shared and distributed to householders. Some parishes will continue their activities this coming weekend particularly St. Catherine,” said Minister of Health and Environment, Rudyard Spencer, at a Rotary Club of St. Andrew meeting held yesterday (Nov. 13) at the Jamaica Pegasus hotel.
“I want to remind you that dengue is always circulating at low levels in Jamaica. The increase in dengue has come at this time, as a result of the persistent rains providing more mosquito breeding sites,” he noted.
The Ministry’s surveillance and monitoring system has shown that up to last week, there were 559 confirmed cases and 2,046 suspected cases of dengue. The disease is transmitted by the Aedes Aegypti mosquito, which is a domestic mosquito that feeds, lives and breeds in and around human surroundings.
Preventing the spread of dengue is dependent on individual householders and the community removing the breeding sites in their homes, schools, places of work and community.
“Everyone is urged to inspect his or her home at least once weekly to identify breeding sites of the mosquito. The mosquito breeds in containers that are able to hold water including rainwater such as drums, tyres, bottles, tins, and cans. Efforts must be made by householders to remove all unwanted containers from their surroundings that will breed mosquitoes,” Mr. Spencer said.
Several countries of the Latin American and Caribbean region have been reporting cases of dengue and dengue hemorrhagic fever. The Caribbean Epidemiology Centre (CAREC) has reported that there are outbreaks and increased dengue activity in several neighbouring islands such as Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Martinique, and Guadeloupe.
In the meantime, the Minister urged members of the public to be “mindful of the threat of waterborne diseases”, during this period of unstable weather.
“Many individuals are storing water for use and it is critical that safe water is used for drinking purposes. We want to reduce the cases of gastroenteritis or running belly, which usually begins to increase at this time of year as the climate gets cooler,” Mr. Spencer said.

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