Wednesday 2 December, 2020

Canadian woman dies after reportedly contracting dengue in Jamaica

A Canadian woman recently died after reportedly contracting dengue fever while attending a friend's wedding in Jamaica.

Jodie Hicks, a 26-year-old resident of Ontario, Canada, flew to the island on January 16 to participate in the wedding ceremony, according to CTV News in Canada.

Reports indicate that Hicks became ill on Tuesday, January 21, two days after the wedding.

She then began developing a rash, a common symptom of dengue fever, but was told that it was likely caused by a heat rash.

Hicks was scheduled to leave the island, but her condition worsened.

She was later taken to a hospital, where she received blood and plasma transfusions.

But when the hospital began running out of blood, the Canadian woman had to be airlifted by an emergency medical helicopter to Florida Medical Centre in the United States, according to media reports.

Hicks suffered two heart attacks at the Florida medical facility, and died on January 26. Her death was said to have been caused by her contracting "the most serious strain of hemorrhagic dengue fever”.

Meanwhile, her family has warned people to take precautions before visiting the Caribbean region, and ensure that they check travel advisories before leaving Canada, CTV News reported.

Last year, Jamaica recorder several deaths from dengue fever, a mosquito-borne disease.

Health and Wellness Minister, Dr Christopher Tufton, earlier this month said the country recorded a total of 103 cases of dengue fever in January of this year, with one death for the month.

This pushed to 10,331 the number of suspected, presumed or confirmed cases of dengue that were recorded between January 1, 2018 and January 31, 2020.

Also, over the period, 2,325 or 22.5 per cent of the 10,331 cases involved hospitalisation for suspected or confirmed dengue. Of those hospitalised, 3.7 per cent died, while 96.3 per cent were treated and discharged.

The Ministry of Health and Wellness has since taken on several measures, including increased activities surrounding the eradication of mosquito breeding sites, to combat dengue on the island.

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