Acting Medical Officer of Health for St. Ann, Dr. Tamika Henry, says the parish has not had any confirmed cases of dengue fever between January and the end of August.
“We are doing very well. We have our temporary workers, who are out in the field every day, as well as our permanent workers that do search and destroy activities. We do community interventions; we do our town cry activities; we are working and we are seeing a significant impact,” she noted.
Dr. Henry was addressing a press briefing prior to a COVID-19 sensitisation tour of Ocho Rios on September 23 by Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton.
She noted that the premises index in the parish stands at just over 15 per cent and the St. Ann Public Health Department is working to get the number down through the cooperation of citizens. The premises index refers to the number of mosquito breeding sites found on properties, particularly homes.
“We have been noticing that quite a number of persons continue to provide breeding grounds for mosquitos despite our interventions. Remember, we cannot go into the households and take out the mosquitos for you,” she pointed out.
Dengue is transmitted by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which is also responsible for the spread of the Zika and chikungunya viruses.
Symptoms of dengue include sudden onset of high fever with severe headache, fatigue, pain behind the eyes, muscle, bone or joint pain, skin rash and vomiting or feeling nauseous.
To prevent the disease, persons are advised to eliminate mosquito breeding sites by getting rid of items that collect water (old drums, used tyres and plastic containers); installing mosquito nets over beds; wearing long sleeve shirts and pants outdoors; using a mosquito repellant containing DEET; and regularly changing water in animal and pet containers.
During the sensitisation tour, the Health Minister, along with community health aides from the St. Ann Public Health Department, handed out masks and pamphlets containing facts about COVID-19 to residents.