Jamaica News: Health Minister, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton says the coordinated fight against the dengue virus in St. James is continuing, with over 10,000 visits conducted in communities across the parish by Vector Control workers.
He stated that vector control coordinators have been vigorously assisting in the elimination of mosquito breeding sites in the parish, having identified and destroyed approximately 1500 breeding sites.
“We are looking at probably a 15 per cent index, meaning places where we identify positive breeding taking place. Now the standard is supposed to be about 5 per cent and so we still need to appeal to citizens, because most of these breeding sites are found in and around the home,” Dr. Tufton said.
He was speaking at the launch of the Health Ministry’s Compassionate Care Programme at the Montego Bay Comprehensive Health Centre (Type 5) in St. James on February 21.
Over 60 vector control workers have been deployed in the parish and over 300 members of the health community trained to handle the treatment of the virus.
The Health Minister informed that vector control coordinators have conducted fogging in over 100 schools and visited 77 communities in the Parish.
Dr. Tufton reiterated that the proper management of solid waste is a key component to tackling the mosquito borne disease and urged residents to take responsibility for creating a clean environment.
“The management of solid waste is a challenge in our country and it’s not just about agency management, it’s also about personal responsibility and personal management within your home. If you have a used tyre in the back of your yard punch holes in them because it will breed mosquitoes,” he stated.
“If you have an old fridge, turn it over. Look at the milk cans and the sardine cans and the bully beef cans, once water is placed in those whether by rain or otherwise, it’s a ripe area for mosquito breeding and the Aedes aegypti breeds very fast,” he stressed.
To date there have been 85 confirmed cases of dengue fever in St. James.
In the meantime Dr. Tufton informed that over the next few weeks, there should be a decline in the number of dengue cases nationally.
“We believe that over time, up to the end of this month (February) into early March, you will see a tapering off and we will see less cases, so the stretch [on the health facilities] becomes less severe but we can’t be complacent about it,” the Minister said.
The Aedes aegypti mosquito is responsible for the spread of the dengue, Zika and chikungunya viruses.
Symptoms of dengue include sudden onset of high fever with a severe headache; fatigue; pain behind the eyes; muscle, bone or joint pain; skin rash; and vomiting or feeling nauseous.
Source: JIS News