870 cases of dengue confirmed

November 09, 2023

Minister of Health, Dr Christopher Tufton, has confirmed that 870 cases of the dengue virus have been recorded in Jamaica as of November 8. 

The minister, who made the announcement at a press conference on Thursday morning, said that the figure is part of the 3,147 suspected, presumed and confirmed cases in total.

Additionally, he said nine dengue related deaths have been recorded- seven of those cases have been classified as suspected, and two as confirmed. 

“This is in keeping with the fact that type two dengue, we have not seen it being prevalent for just over ten years and so you will find that persons in that age group have no previously being exposed to dengue type two and so there is a high likelihood that they would be infected,”  chief medical officer, Jacqueline Bisasor McKenzie, explained. 

The 5-14 age group is the most affected with the highest number of suspected presumed and confirmed cases at a rate of 360.3 cases per 100,000 population.

The Ministry of Health and Wellness declared a Dengue outbreak in September when the National Surveillance Unit advised that Jamaica had surpassed the dengue epidemic threshold for several months. 

All parishes continue to observe an increase in dengue cases in 2023 compared to 2022, with Kingston & St Andrew reporting the highest number of cases (776) for 2023. However, St Thomas maintains the highest case rate of 382.5. per 100,000 population, followed by Portland (221 per 100,000) and Trelawny (160 per 100,000).

Tufton in the meantime says the Ministry continues to take steps to mitigate the impact of dengue on the population which includes fogging, waste removal and drain cleaning. 

“The ministry, you may recall or seen, has begun distribution of drum covers in areas that had water storage, more than 500 have been distributed. Fogging sessions continue across the island, both morning and evenings with a total of 461 communities fogged to date, an additional 115 high risk communities have received fogging,’ he said. 

Further, he said the ministry has partnered with the National Solid Waste Management Authority to remove bulky waste in an additional six parishes.

"So far, more than 20 communities have been impacted and about 20 major drains cleaned.  Tufton also disclosed that approximately 700 vector control workers have been employed across the island," the minister said. 

-Sashana Small 

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