Monday 21 September, 2020

Recent deaths from COVID-19 in Jamaica involved co-morbidities - CMO

Chief Medical Officer (CMO), Dr Jacquiline Bisasor-McKenzie, says the four persons who recently died from the coronavirus (COVID-19), including a 37-year-old, all suffered from co-morbid diseases. 

Comorbidity is the existence of more than one disorder or disease at the same time.

Bisasor-McKenzie, who was speaking during the weekly virtual COVID Conversations press briefing at the Health and Wellness Ministry, said there was neurological disease in one person, diabetes mellitus in two persons, hypertension in one, renal impairment in two persons, and heart disease in one person.

The CMO said it is very important that persons understand the serious risk that COVID-19 poses for persons with co-morbidities.

"Again we see featuring, very prominently, diabetes and renal impairment, and so we just want the public to pay attention to this, because persons who have these illnesses, we must protect them and they must protect themselves," she emphasised.

She further revealed that three of the four victims, two females and two males, had contact with a foreigner.

"Again this speaks to the fact that we have persons who have these conditions who make them vulnerable to a more severe illness, but yet there is this constant, continuous entertainment and mingling with persons who come from overseas," Bisasor-McKenzie argued.

The CMO reiterated that a number of persons who are coming from overseas have tested positive, and again warned persons who suffer from co-morbid diseases to stay away from persons who have been possibly exposed to the virus.

In the meantime, Bisasor-McKenzie also shared that health professionals are seeing gastrointestinal symptoms in the elderly and are asking persons to take in their elderly relatives to the doctor to be tested for the virus if they are vomiting and are having diarrhoea.

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