Jamaican Health authorities issue warning

KINGSTON, Jamaica, CMC – Health authorities here are urging people to help reduce the number of mosquito breeding sites across the island amid reports that several patients had been admitted to the Bustamante Hospital for Children in recent days.

The Ministry of Health in a statement said it was calling on householders and businesses to reduce the number of mosquito breeding sites around their premises warning that while many cases of dengue are mild, persons should seek medical advice if they have belly pain, vomiting, weakness, bleeding, other severe or persistent symptoms.

The statement by the ministry comes amidst media reports of an increase in the number of severe dengue cases and it urged the members of the public to cover stored water, empty and clean regularly containers that can collect water, bore holes in containers being discarded, clear away garbage and keep grass and shrubbery low to prevent breeding of mosquitoes.

It is also urging the public to protect themselves by wearing long sleeves, especially at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are more likely to be around; use mosquito netting and mosquito repellents frequently as directed on the containers.

“Use only paracetamol, cetamol, panadol to treat fever and pain. Many viral illnesses look alike and dengue can be mistaken for other illnesses. Do not use any other pain or fever medication stored at home. Speak to a pharmacist or doctor about the possibility of dengue when pain or fever medication is being prescribed or dispensed,” the Ministry of Health said.

Meanwhile Health Minister Dr. Christopher Tufton is expected to lead a delegation to the Gregory Park community which has “a high population of the Aedes aegypti mosquitoes and is being targeted as part of the increased vector control and surveillance initiatives,” the ministry said.

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