JIS News

Story Highlights

  • The Ministry of Health has responded to reports that a high level of staff absenteeism at the Yallahs Primary School in St. Thomas is related to the mosquito-borne Chikungunya Virus.
  • The Ministry of Health fumigated the area on Wednesday, September 17 as an additional precautionary measure.
  • The school remained opened on Wednesday despite the absence of several members of staff, including the principal and vice-principals, who were, reportedly, experiencing flu-like symptoms.

The Ministry of Health has responded to reports that a high level of staff absenteeism at the Yallahs Primary School in St. Thomas is related to the mosquito-borne Chikungunya Virus.

Although no breeding sites were identified during Tuesday’s inspection of the school compound, the Ministry of Health fumigated the area on Wednesday, September 17 as an additional precautionary measure.

The school remained opened on Wednesday despite the absence of several members of staff, including the principal and vice-principals, who were, reportedly, experiencing flu-like symptoms.

A senior member of the academic staff, Mrs. Jossette Swaby-Smith, is currently in charge of the school, under the guidance of the Ministry of Education’s regional office.

In total, approximately 697 students and 60 teachers were absent from 25 schools in the parish on Wednesday.

Last week the Ministry of Health met with school officials in the parishes of St Mary, Portland and St Thomas to discuss the response to the Chikungunya Virus, Dengue Fever and other illnesses with flu-like symptoms.

Education Minister, the Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites says schools must remain open unless the Ministry of Health advises that they should be closed.