Health Ministry ramps up control initiatives amid dengue worries
The Ministry of Health has confirmed that over the Christmas period the Bustamante Hospital for Children registered an increase in the number of cases of viral illnesses, including suspected dengue cases.
In a statement, the Health Ministry said there has also been an increase in the number of severe dengue cases.
Health officials said as they continue to address the development, they are calling on members of the public to play their part in helping to reduce the impact of dengue fever and its complications, even as the ministry intensifies its mosquito-control activities and public education campaign.
The health officials also called for the following:
· The reduction of breeding sites for mosquitos in homes and surroundings, which plays an important part in reducing the number of mosquitos 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 the breeding of mosquitos.
· Protect yourselves by wearing long sleeves especially at dusk and dawn, when mosquitos 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.
Health officials said members of the public should note at the following health facilities have extended opening hours:
Kingston and St Andrew
The Stony Hill Health Centre, Olympic Gardens Health Centre, Glen Vincent Health Centre, and Slipe Pen Road Comprehensive Health Centre.
Morant Bay Health Centre
St. Jago Park Health Centre and the Greater Portmore Health Centre.
The ministry has also reported that Health Minister, Dr Christopher Tufton, and other officials was scheduled to 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 been increasing the number of visits to communities, searching for and destroying mosquito breeding sites.
The statement said the Gregory Park community has a high population of the Aedes Aegypti mosquitos and is being targeted as part of the increased vector-control and surveillance initiatives.