Ministry of Health Advises Continued Caution Against Viral Illnesses

Minister of Health Christopher Tufton was scheduled to visit the community of Gregory Park in St. Catherine today. The whole of the Portmore area is quite a “hot spot” for mosquitoes; after all, it was built on or near wetlands. The problem of dengue fever continues, especially among children, where suspected cases have increased. Be careful out there – take precautions and destroy breeding sites!

MOH Advises of Continued Caution Against Viral Illnesses

Kingston, Jamaica. 27 December 2018: The Ministry of Health has been informed that over the Christmas period, the Bustamante Hospital for Children continues to see an increase in the number of cases of viral illnesses, including cases of suspected dengue. There has also been an increase in the number of severe dengue cases.

The Ministry would like again for the public to note:

  • The reduction of breeding sites for mosquitoes in one’s home and surroundings plays an important part in reducing the number of mosquitoes that carry the dengue virus and the possibility of being bitten. Members of the public should cover stored water, empty and clean regularly containers that can collect water, bore holes in containers being discarded, clear away garbage and keep grass and shrubbery low to prevent breeding of mosquitos.
  • Protect yourselves by wearing long sleeves especially at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are more likely to be around; use mosquito netting and mosquito repellants frequently as directed on the containers.
  • Use only paracetamol, cetamol, panadol to treat fever and pain. Many viral illnesses look alike and dengue can be mistaken for other illnesses. Do not use any other pain or fever medication stored at home. Speak to a pharmacist or doctor about the possibility of dengue when pain or fever medication is being prescribed or dispensed.
  • Many cases of dengue are mild but if you have belly pain, vomiting, weakness, bleeding, other severe or persistent symptoms seek medical advice.
  • Please note the following health facilities have extended opening hours Kingston & St. Andrew: The Stony Hill Health Centre, Olympic Gardens Health Centre, Glen Vincent Health Centre and Slipe Pen Road Comprehensive Health Centre. St. Thomas: Morant Bay Health Centre and St. Catherine: St. Jago Park Health Centre, and Greater Portmore Health Centre.

Increased Community Visits

Minister of Health, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton and other officials will visit the Gregory Park Community in Portmore, St. Catherine on Friday, December 28 to view the work being done by Vector Control workers, who have increased the number of visits to communities, searching for and destroying breeding sites. This community has a high population of the Aedes aegypti mosquitos and is being targeted as part of the increased vector control and surveillance initiatives.

Members of the public are asked to play their part in helping to reduce the impact of dengue fever and its complications, even as the Ministry increases its mosquito control activities and public education campaign. Persons may call the Ministry of Health at 1-888-ONE-LOVE (663-5683) with any reports or concerns.

Flooding in Portmore two years ago. It is extremely low-lying and the whole housing development was built on wetlands. It is famous (notorious!) for its mosquitoes.


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