Dengue kills 81 Jamaicans

More than 81 Jamaicans have died in the worst dengue fever outbreak to have hit the island in a generation. Of that amount 64 were recorded in the last 12 months.

However, data provided by the Ministry of Health and Wellness showed that the incident of the mosquito-borne disease appeared to fall sharply over the last two months.

There were 1,341 notifications of suspected, presumed, and confirmed cases of dengue recorded in October. In November, those numbers plunged to 833, and 294 in December.

The ministry received 9,356 notifications of dengue between January 1, 2018, to December 31, 2019. Among those, 2,057 people were admitted to hospitals.

The highest rate of suspected and confirmed dengue cases was among the five-to-14-year-olds, followed by children aged one to four.

Minister of Health and Wellness Dr Christopher Tufton said that dengue hospital admissions cost the Government of Jamaica an average of $213,362.94 per child.

Minister of Health and Wellness Dr Christopher Tufton

Kingston, St Andrew, St Catherine, Westmoreland, St James, Trelawny, and St Ann have been the worst-affected parishes. Communities with the highest rates of incidence were Borobridge, Cane River, Farm Heights, Martha Brae, Rose Hall, and Irwin.

Tufton said that the ministry would ramp up the number of vector-control personnel from 1,000 to 1,400. Dengue-mitigation exercises will climax between January 24 and 26.