Tue | Aug 11, 2020

Health Ministry now admits to one case of dengue-related death, two other suspected cases

Published:Tuesday | June 12, 2018 | 10:34 AM


Less than 24 hours after it reported that there were no deaths from dengue in the island, the Ministry of Health has changed its tune.

In a late afternoon release yesterday, the ministry said there has been one presumed dengue-related death which occurred in 2018.

“This classification is based on a positive Antibody Blood Test (IgM) in respect of one person who died. Confirmation is only made with a positive dengue PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) test which in this instance was negative,” said the ministry.

 “Up to June 11, 2018, the Ministry of Health received a total of six notifications of possible dengue-related deaths. In addition to the case mentioned above, two other deaths fit the clinical case definition for dengue-related deaths.  These other two deaths fit the clinical case definition but have no positive dengue results (IgM or PCR) and therefore remain suspected cases,” added the ministry.  

It said the remaining three of the six notifications do not fit the case definition for dengue-related deaths based on the information provided on the notifications and are not considered suspected cases at this time and it continues to investigate these cases.

In January, The Gleaner published a story of an eight-year-old who died at the Bustamante Hospital for Children from dengue.

At that time, Health Minister Dr Christopher Tufton told our news team that, "This type of dengue carries a high risk of mortality. The appropriate notification has been done, and the Kingston and St Andrew health team is out conducting its surveillance".

He noted that dengue haemorrhagic fever is a class one disease, and a report must be submitted to the health ministry within 24 hours.

What is Dengue Fever

* Dengue fever is a mosquito-borne tropical disease caused by the dengue virus and is endemic in Jamaica.

* The virus is transmitted by the bite of an infected female Aedes Aegypti mosquito.

* The Aedes Aegypti is the same vector that transmits the chikungunya and zika viruses.

Symptoms for Dengue Fever

* Dengue fever typically begins three to 14 days after infection.

* This may include a high fever, headache, vomiting, muscle and joint pains, and a skin rash.

* Symptoms usually last two to seven days.

* There is no specific treatment for dengue, but access to proper medical care reduces mortality rates.

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