The Ministry of Health and Wellness says Jamaica has on record 2,763 suspected, presumed, and confirmed dengue cases as of Wednesday, November 1.
Of the cases classified, 694 are confirmed cases with dengue type two continuing to be the dominant strain. At the same time, the total number of dengue-related deaths now stands at nine – seven classified as suspected and two as confirmed.
All parishes continue to observe an increase in dengue cases in 2023 compared to 2022, with Kingston & St Andrew reporting the highest number of cases (695) for 2023. However, St Thomas maintains the highest case rate of 363.4 per 100,000 population, followed by Portland (211.2 per 100,000) and Trelawny (152.0 per 100,000).
Of the suspected, presumed, and confirmed cases, there were more males than females, with the highest number of cases observed in the five–14-year-old cohort at a rate of 317.4 cases per 100,000 population.
The health ministry is again reminding the public that 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 said in a press release today.
Members of the public are implored 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.
On occasions the illness can progress to severe dengue, which can result in organ failure as well as bleeding (haemorrhage), and severe fluid depletion that can lead to shock and death.
Persons experiencing fever, vomiting, severe abdominal pain, bleeding under the skin (petechial rash), feeling very weak, or getting confused, are to seek immediate medical attention.
“Persons are asked to play their part in ensuring that the dengue cases are minimised by monitoring water storage containers for mosquito breeding; keeping surroundings free of debris; destroying or treating potential mosquito breeding sites; wearing protective clothing and using a DEET-containing mosquito repellant,” the health ministry is advising.