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Jamaicans Urged Not to Use Aspirin, Diclofenac to Treat Dengue

By: , October 1, 2023
Jamaicans Urged Not to Use Aspirin, Diclofenac to Treat Dengue
Photo: Yhomo Hutchinson
Director of Health Services Planning and Integration, Dr. Nadine Williams, speaks at a post-Cabinet press briefing, on September 27, at Jamaica House.

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

Speaking at a post-Cabinet press briefing held at Jamaica House on September 27, Director of Health Services Planning and Integration, Dr. Nadine Williams, informed that rest and adequate hydration are usually enough to see one through the period of illness.

She stated that the recommended treatment for fever is acetaminophen or paracetamol.

“These drugs (NSAIDs), when used in dengue, have been known to increase the severity of the disease. Severe dengue can result in organ failure, bleeding and severe fluid depletion that can lead to shock and death,” Dr. Williams said.

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. Jamaica declared an outbreak of the disease on September 23.

Persons experiencing fever, vomiting, severe abdominal pain, bleeding under the skin and other unusual forms of bleeding, feeling very weak, or getting confused, are urged to seek immediate medical attention.

In the meantime, Dr. Williams noted that since 2019, the Government, through the Ministry of Health and Wellness, has spent over $300 million on the acquisition of vehicles, fogging machines and the expansion of the number of staff dedicated to the vector management programme.

In anticipation of a possible outbreak, the Ministry implemented its enhanced vector control programme in July of this year.

Some of the measures included the employment of 500 temporary vector control workers to work alongside the 213-permanent staff. Another 600 temporary workers are to be engaged in search and destroy and health education activities.

Last Updated: October 11, 2023

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