Wed | Nov 21, 2018

Two confirmed cases of dengue fever in St Catherine, says health department

Published:Thursday | November 8, 2018 | 8:30 PM

Ruddy Mathison, Gleaner Writer

The St Catherine Health Department says there are two confirmed cases of dengue fever in the parish and a few suspected cases that are presently been assessed by the authorities.

Delivering the Health Department's monthly report at the general meeting of the St Catherine Municipal Corporation Thursday, Chief Public Health Officer for the parish, Grayson Hutchinson, said these are isolated cases and there is no reason to fear that an outbreak is imminent at this time.

"We don't foresee an outbreak. Recent rains have caused an increase in mosquito infestation in a number of areas in the parish, especially in Portmore and its environs.

"The vector control unit of the department is currently carrying out a massive mosquito eradication drive in these areas, targeting the breeding sites, and we are seeing encouraging signs of success," Hutchinson told The Gleaner. He said that for the period under review, 35 drains were inspected of which 23 were found to be breeding sites, and fogging was undertaken in 61 communities. 

According to Hutchinson, the major challenge facing the department presently is the malfunctioning ultra low volume (ULV) fogging machine which is mounted on the back of a pickup truck that can cover a wider expanse.

"In the meantime, we have employed a number of temporary workers to carry out adulticidal or fogging work in these areas and this has proven to be very effective, but there is still the need for ULV support to assist with the adulticidal work," the chief public health officer noted.

Hutchinson was quick to point out that there is no cause for alarm about any malaria outbreak, because the health department is proactive in its screening efforts.

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