Thursday 14 November, 2019

No dengue fever outbreak now, says Tufton

Dr Christopher Tufton

Dr Christopher Tufton

There is no outbreak of dengue fever on the island at this time, according to the Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr Christopher Tufton.

The minister gave the assurance on Thursday while addressing the official launch of the Compassionate Care Programme at the Noel Holmes Hospital in Lucea, Hanover.

He was responding to a call from the Opposition Spokesman on Health, Dr Dayton Campbell, on Wednesday, for Tufton to state whether there is an outbreak.

Campbell’s call came in the wake of the death of a nine-year-old child at the Falmouth Hospital, reportedly from dengue fever.

The shadow minister also said he was “reliably informed that the paediatric ward at the Cornwall Regional Hospital in St James is full and overflowing with suspected cases of the fever.”

Campbell suggested that the ‘new cluster of cases’ which he spoke of, showed 11 confirmed incidents relative to dengue.

But according to Tufton, there is no need for alarm.

He said: “since January of this year when we had the dengue outbreak, when it peaked, we have seen a steady decline over those months into May of this year.

“When we had the last monthly data, (it) was below outbreak status or threshold… so there is no dengue outbreak.”

And Tufton said the ministry has been on alert “in terms of ensuring that we monitor and respond to the trends”.

He said during the hurricane season which runs until November 30, the Government will be embarking on a number of programmes, including a public education initiative to raise awareness about mosquito breeding sites.

Campbell had charged that the ministry has done a poor good job in eradicating the mosquito that carries the dengue virus.

“While we know that the host mosquito is the domestic Aedes Egypti, and that people have a role to play in its eradication, if the ministry had a sustained eradication and education programme, it would go a far way in stemming the frequency of these outbreaks,” Campbell said.

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