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New Strain Of Dengue In Jamaica

  • Jamaica is facing the risk of a possible outbreak of dengue fever amid rising cases. Sep. 14, 2023.

    Jamaica is facing the risk of a possible outbreak of dengue fever amid rising cases. Sep. 14, 2023. | Photo: Twitter/@JamaicaObserver

Published 14 September 2023 (19 hours 7 minutes ago)
Opinion

"Due to the long time since we identified strain 2, the probability of risk in the younger population is greater," said the Minister of Health of Jamaica, Christopher Tufton.

The Minister of Health of Jamaica, Christopher Tufton, confirmed today 38 positive cases of dengue Serotype 2, a strain that has not been recorded since 2010 on the island. According to health authorities, the strain can be fatal.

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The sources of the Ministry of Health and Wellness confirmed before that as of last Monday, there have been 316 suspected, presumed, and confirmed dengue cases in Jamaica. 

Based on data from the ministry’s National Surveillance Unit, when compared to the same period in 2022, this number marks an almost five-fold increase.  This was revealed by health minister Dr Christopher Tufton on Wednesday at the ministry’s quarterly press conference.  

He further said that based on laboratory results, there has been a total of 39 positive cases, 38 of which were identified as Dengue Serotype 2 and one case identified as dengue Serotype 4. 

Tufton raised concern about the younger population being more susceptible to the virus. Most concerning, Tufton said, is the fact that 20 patients are in the 5-14 age group.

"Due to the long time since we identified strain 2, the probability of risk in the younger population is greater, so the fact that this is the dominant strain is also an additional cause for concern," said the minister of Health.

He reported that $200 million was allocated for the removal of bulky waste and the cleaning of drains throughout the country, within the framework of a vector control program to curb the possibility of an outbreak later this year.

In addition, he added that inspections in schools have begun and that so far about 500 temporary vector control workers have been hired and deployed in high-risk communities.

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