It’s a More Active Season, But There is No Dengue Outbreak, Says Health Ministry


This year there are quite a few more suspected cases of dengue fever in Jamaica. It has been very rainy in most weeks, and breeding grounds may have been increasing. Dengue is no joke – as I know from experience! The rare haemorrhagic fever is very dangerous. Closing windows and doors at early morning and dusk really helps keep the mosquitoes out of your house, by the way!

I checked with the Ministry of Health, who informed me that the number of dengue haemorrhagic fever stands at 50 cases, two of them confirmed. This compares to 2017 when there were 38 cases, one of them confirmed.

Here is today’s press release from the Ministry of Health.  For much more up to date detail (including on other health issues including violence and road accidents) take a look at the Weekly Bulletin for Epidemiological Week 46 ending November 17, 2018. It has today’s date (December 3, 2018).

Dengue Fever Facts (Source: WHO)

December 3, 2018

Attention: All News Editors

 No Dengue Outbreak, Despite a More Active Season

The Ministry of Health has confirmed that 2018 has seen an increase, over the last year, in the number of cases of dengue fever. This is based on reports of mosquito-borne diseases through the national epidemiological surveillance system. Up to November 17, 2018, there have been 412 suspected cases reported, compared to 150 in 2017. The number, however, remains below the outbreak threshold.

Dengue fever is a mosquito-borne disease that is usually an 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.

Some persons may develop a rare complication of dengue fever referred to as Dengue haemorrhagic fever (DHF), which may result in bleeding, including internal bleeding, which can lead to death. Immediate medical attention should be sought once a person with a fever begins to vomit, have severe abdominal pain, bleeding under the skin (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 from late August into November. In anticipation of this, the Ministry has continued its mosquito-control activities, including a public education campaign, home inspections, destruction of breeding sites and fogging.

Again, members of the public are encouraged to play their part in ensuring that the number of cases is minimised 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 repellant and, as much as possible, staying indoors at dusk with windows and doors closed.

Contact: Stephen Donaldson, Director, Public Relations & Communications. Tel: (876) 633-8205; (876) 770-4257  Email: davidsons@moh.gov.jm


6 thoughts on “It’s a More Active Season, But There is No Dengue Outbreak, Says Health Ministry

  1. Wow! I had no idea we had dengue in Jamaica. The mosquitoes rarely bother me but my poor husband looked like he had chicken pox the last time he came down. I guess we had better double up his repellant usage! Thanks for bringing this to my attention.

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    1. You did not know? I think it has always been around but is especially prevalent at this time of year it seems. Mosquitoes don’t really “bother” me either – but beware! You may not notice them biting you, and you may not react to them like your husband does, but they are likely still biting you… I discovered this. I have had dengue, chikungunya (which you will see is still around, according to the Bulletin that I included in my post there are still a few cases) AND Zika (which was mild and just a rash). So I think you should probably use repellant too, and make sure that you have no breeding grounds around the house (water storage, etc).

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      1. Although I never had it confirmed, I’m pretty sure I had Zika last year. At that time, I lived near standing water and made the fatal error of going out onto the verandah in the early mornings with my tea while “unprotected.” And that was a “dry” year for us. Even down in St E it has been sooo rainy this fall. I’m sure the mosquito population was at its worst when we were last down. My husband runs a higher than normal body temp and I run very cold so I’m guessing that’s why he is so attractive to the nasty creatures. However, I will heed your warning and use the spray more liberally myself when I return next month. I’ve been sick with pneumonia ever since I went stateside in mid-November. Last thing I need is to get down there and get sick, too! Have you fully recovered or do you have residual issues?

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      2. St. Elizabeth is famous for its giant mosquitoes! I’m sorry to hear you have been so ill… Please take care. NB the mosquito that spreads these diseases is the aedes aegyptii (it has stripey legs). Zika is by far the least fearsome of the two (unless, of course you are pregnant) – I had a mild fever for a day or two. The worst in terms of after effects was chikungunya – horrible joint pains which still flare up from time to time and it’s been 2 or 3 years now…

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