Jamaica Among 11 Countries Where Dengue Deaths Have Exceeded Projections

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More in this report from Stevian Simmonds.

Jamaica’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr Jacquiline Bisasor-McKenzie, says Jamaica’s among 11 countries that exceeded the Pan American Health Organization, PAHO’s projected number of dengue deaths for 2019.

Dr Bisasor-McKenzie says since 2019 the region has yielded its largest number of dengue cases since 1980.

She was addressing the media today at a dengue outbreak media briefing in New Kingston.

Dr Bisasor-McKenzie says what’s happening in Jamaica is a reflection of what’s happening with the vector borne virus globally.

And that’s not all.

She says since declaring an outbreak in January, when the number of dengue cases peaked, there was a gradual decline until about May when it dipped below the epidemic threshold.

But, Dr Bisasor McKenzie says as expected during the rainy season in June the numbers started increasing.

She says since January 2018 up to November 21 this year, there’ve been 63 dengue related deaths mainly in the 14 and under age category.

The CMO says there’s been a small decline since October, but she contends they’re still facing a number of deaths that they’re very concerned about.

She says in most cases deaths occurred within 24 hours after persons visited emergency rooms and often result when patients’ symptoms are delayed.

Dr Bisasor McKenzie says the best options are prevention and early detection.

Meanwhile, Senior Medical Officer at the Bustamante Hospital for Children in Kingston, Dr. Michelle-Ann Richards Dawson, says the facility Accident and Emergency Unit has seen an estimated 9-thousand cases in a single month this year.

She says despite being proactive with their dengue awareness programme, the past 15 months have left staff, parents and children weary.

In the meantime, Dr Richards- Dawson is appealing for blood donations to help in the dengue fight.

Dr. Michelle Ann Richards-Dawson, Senior Medical Officer at the Bustamante Hospital for Children.

She was speaking today at a dengue outbreak media briefing in New Kingston.

The Chief Medical Officer is urging Jamaicans to get vaccinated against the Influenza or Flu virus.

This, as Dr. Bisasor-McKenzie says the flu season this year has been more active than last year.

Dr Bisasor- McKenzie says while most cases of the flu can be treated at home with rest, fluids and management of the fever, persons with severe symptoms should seek medical attention.

Dr Jacquiline Bisasor- McKenzie, Chief Medical Officer, speaking today at a dengue outbreak media briefing in New Kingston.



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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