Dengue Outbreak Worsening, Health Ministry Says


National Epidemiologist in the Health Ministry, Dr Karen Webster Kerr,  says the dengue outbreak in Jamaica is worsening.

This as she sought to define the Pan American Health Organization, PAHO’s use of the term hyper-endemic to describe the situation in Jamaica.

Dr Webster Kerr says there are four strains of the dengue fever virus.

She says the current outbreak involves mainly type 3 and two type 2.

The epidemiologist explains that an individual can be infected with all four strains of the dengue virus.

She says individuals can only develop immunity to the strain they were infected with and therefore remain vulnerable to the other strains.

Meanwhile, Dr Webster Kerr sought to explain the more aggressive form of dengue which the Health Minister says is being linked to climate change.

Dr. Webster Kerr says there’s been an increase in the number of deaths being caused by the virus.
And, she also says the severity of the disease in the current outbreak regionally is more intense.

Dr Karen Webster Kerr, National Epidemiologist in the Health Ministry, speaking last evening on Nationwide @ 5 with Cliff Hughes and Kemesha Kelly.

Neika Lewis is an award-winning journalist with over 7 years of experience across radio, tv and the print media. A CARIMAC alum, Neika copped the Prime Minister’s Youth award for journalism in 2017. Her reporting on a Jamaican pilot incarcerated in Qatar in 2015 led to his release. Neika hunts for human interest stories.

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