KINGSTON – Jamaica Saturday declared a dengue outbreak with health officials saying that the island had surpassed the dengue epidemic threshold for July and August and is on a trajectory to do the same for September.
A statement from the Ministry of Health and Wellness said “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”.
However, there are no dengue-related deaths classified at this time, but six deaths are being investigated, the ministry said.
Dengue is a mosquito-borne disease and the ministry said that as of Friday, September 23, Jamaica had recorded 565 suspected, presumed and confirmed cases of dengue, with 78 cases being confirmed. It said the majority of the cases being in Kingston and St Andrew, St Catherine and St Thomas.
The ministry said the dominant strain has been Dengue Type Two, which is one of the deadliest and has not been predominant in Jamaica since 2010. The strain, in addition to fever, can cause two or more other symptoms of typical dengue infection and can be fatal.
Dengue symptoms include fever, headache, muscle and joint pain, fatigue, nausea and rash. In a small number of cases, the potentially deadly dengue haemorrhagic fever may develop, resulting in internal bleeding, enlargement of the liver and high fever.
Jamaica last dengue outbreak was in 2019. (CMC)