(CTN News) – Jamaica’s Ministry of Health and Wellness has declared that there is an outbreak of dengue fever in the country.
As indicated in the ministry’s release on Saturday, the National Surveillance Unit has informed the ministry that the island has exceeded the Dengue epidemic threshold for July and August and is on a trajectory to do the same for September, based on data from the National Surveillance Unit.
According to the ministry, this means the country has seen an increase in the number of cases compared to what is normally seen during these months of the year when the number of cases is normally low.
According to the Ministry of Health, there have been 565 suspected, presumed, confirmed cases in the country as of Friday, September 23.
In all, 78 cases have been confirmed out of that number, with the majority of the cases located in Kingston and St Andrew, St Catherine and St Thomas, according to a release from the government.
It was reported by the Ministry of Health that the predominant strain of Dengue had been the Type Two strain, which is one of the deadliest strains, and has not been dominant in Jamaica since 2010.
There are several strains of the disease that can cause not only Dengue fever, but also two or more other symptoms of typical infection and the disease can be fatal as well.
Currently, there have not been any deaths related at the state level classified as dengue-related, but six deaths are under investigation, according to the health ministry.
The dengue virus is transmitted to humans by mosquitoes. It is known that Jamaica is endemic to Aedes agypti mosquitoes, which transmit the disease.
As well as fever and headache, dengue symptoms include muscle and joint pain, fatigue, nausea, and rashes. Occasionally, there is the possibility of developing haemorrhagic fever (DHF), which results in internal bleeding, enlargement of the liver, and high fever in a small number of patients.
Last time there was an outbreak of dengue in Jamaica was in 2019.