Health Ministry Confirms a Suspected Dengue Fever Death


Dengue fever is no joke. Having had it once (a fairly “mild” form) some 20 years ago, I could never go through that nightmare again. Sadly, someone has died from a suspected case of dengue hemorraghic fever, which is not so common but very serious.

Here is a note from the Ministry of Health, reminding us to be vigilant with mosquito breeding sites around the home. The weather is extremely dry in Kingston at the moment, so we have had very few mosquitoes, but a shower of rain will bring them out. Meanwhile, I understand that the USAID-funded Zika AIRS Project (ZAP/Jamaica) will be re-launching soon. This involves house-to-house visits by the “ZAPpers” to check possible breeding places for the aedes aegyptii mosquito that spreads dengue fever as well as the zika and chikungunya viruses that we have suffered from in recent years.

Please take care! As I said, these mosquito-borne diseases are not to be taken lightly – especially if you are an older person, a child or your immune system is weak. And of course, go to the doctor if you feel unwell.

Ministry Confirms Suspected Case of Dengue Fever

The Ministry of Health has confirmed a report of a suspected dengue hemorrhagic fever-related death in late August of an adult male from the parish of Trelawny.

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. Rest and adequate hydration are usually enough to see one through the period of illness. The recommended treatment for the fever is acetaminophen/paracetamol. The Ministry urges members of the public not to use aspirin, diclofenac, ibuprofen, or any of the medications/pain relievers known as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).  These drugs, when used to treat the fever in dengue, have been known to increase the severity of the disease.

Dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) is a rare complication of dengue fever and results in internal bleeding and bleeding under the skin, which can lead to death. Immediate medical attention should be sought once an infected person begins to vomit, have severe abdominal pain, develop a petechial* rash, feel very weak, or get confused.

In keeping with trends in recent years, the Ministry expects that the number of cases of mosquito-borne diseases will increase in late August to October. In anticipation of this, the Ministry has begun mosquito-control activities, including a public education campaign, home inspections, destruction of breeding sites and fogging.

Below the Epidemic Threshold

So far, the number of dengue cases remains below the epidemic threshold, that is, within expected levels and the Ministry will continue to monitor reports of mosquito-borne diseases through its national epidemiological surveillance system.

Members of the public are encouraged to play their  part in ensuring  that the cases are minimized by monitoring water storage containers for mosquito breeding; keeping surroundings free of debris; destroying or treating potential mosquito breeding sites; wearing protective clothing; using a DEET-containing mosquito repellent and, as much as possible, staying indoors at dusk with windows and doors closed.

* Tiny purple, red or brown spots on the skin.

Contact: Stephen Davidson, Director of Public Relations & Communications, Ministry of Health. Tel: 876 770-4257.

Dengue Fever Facts (Source: WHO)

 


12 thoughts on “Health Ministry Confirms a Suspected Dengue Fever Death

    1. It is worrying, indeed. Take it from me, dengue fever is not to be taken lightly at all! You are right, there are more place for mosquitoes to live and thrive in urban areas. This particular species likes to live near human habitation! Ugh.

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  1. My first encounter with dengue was in the year 2000, and oh my, I was a very sick person, and it took a month to regain my strength. I remember that people stated, “Oh, the first case won’t kill you – it’s the next ones that are dangerous.’ Three years ago a dengue/chikungunya co-infection slammed me to a halt, and there were a few days that were pretty serious – extreme low blood pressure – but the local clinic did a great job of tending to the sick. it was a true epidemic, and for me -being 15 years older the second time round, it took two months before I was well enough to do normal tasks… but now even three years later, the chikungunya side effects linger, especially arthritic stiffness – and even sometimes my hands spasm when gripping something – like a grocery bag or trying to open a jar.

    Chikungunya seems to be the one that doesn’t get much press, but it’s can be very crippling. And, of course, dengue can be fatal – and one needs to be very attentive to those dangerous stages of the disease.

    Stay well everyone, and mosquito repellent is probably a wise choice for your daily perfume!

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    1. My goodness – I have had almost exactly the same experience myself! My bout with dengue was terrible. I even had hallucinations for a day! Fever was so high. “Chik V” about three years ago completely floored me, and took me a long time to recover. I was also quite a bit older then. Yes, I can hardly open anything with my fingers these days. I also have a regularly recurring swollen ankle, ever since. It has had this effect on friends too. Miserable!

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      1. ‘Partners in the Chikungunya Suffering’ can spot each other – especially during the most chronic time, when it hurts to step ‘down’– not only on stairs, but even the most-simple task, like from the curb to the street. I can remember sitting at the top of the stairs at my house – and needing to go down to retrieve a 5-gallon bottle of water – but the effort was not worth the pain… There is a lot of attention (still) to Zika and its dangers, but ChikV seems to be ‘snubbed.’ Ha, we veterans definitely know its dark side!

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      2. Yes!! It’s the same here! When a friend struggles with stairs etc., we murmur to each other “chik v” and commiserate. We should form an International Chikungunya Sufferers Club!

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      3. The skies are fine here. A bit breezy and a few clouds. We are fairly well to the south of Gordon, though. We have had zero rain and our yard is full of dust!

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      4. it’s been difficult to find current updates – the news media seems more concerned with public scandals and not about events that affect many people. i long for the days of the morning news, the noon report, and the nightly news, including a weather update!

        What weather site do you use? Wunderground/Tropical was once my favorite, with teh queue of comments/updates, but presently it’s been difficult to find that type of info. I’m working on a mural in a home while tossing darts while taking a wifi weather info break!

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      5. Hmm. I usually go by local weather reports, but further afield for hurricanes etc. the Weather Channel has Caribbean and Atlantic maps which are quite helpful. Also the National Hurricane Center in Miami, which has very regular updates whether the weather is good or bad. It also has maps of where the storm is expected to go in 2, 3, 4 days… that might be the most helpful…

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