The Ministry of Health & Wellness is reporting an increase in dengue cases and deaths associated with the virus.
Jamaica, as of Tuesday, October 17, now has 434 confirmed dengue cases from approximately 2,107 suspected, presumed, and confirmed cases.
At the same time, there were seven dengue-related deaths – five classified as suspected and two as confirmed.
In a statement today, the health ministry said all parishes continue to see an increase in dengue cases this year when compared to 2022.
Kingston & St Andrew reported the highest number of cases (600) for 2023.
However, St Thomas maintains the highest rate of 310.4 cases per 100,000 population, followed by Portland and St. Mary.
Further, the health ministry noted that Jamaicans in the 5 to 14-year-old cohort continue to be the most affected by dengue with a rate of 240.4 cases per 100,000 population.
The ministry is again reminding the public that dengue fever is a mosquito-borne disease that is usually a mild illness in which a person may get a fever, headache, joint, and muscle pains.
Rest and adequate hydration are usually enough to see one through the period of illness.
The recommended treatment for the fever is acetaminophen/paracetamol.
Members of the public are implored not to use aspirin, diclofenac, ibuprofen, or any of the medications/pain relievers known as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
These drugs, when used to treat the fever in dengue, have been known to increase the severity of the disease.
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Dr. Debi Johnson is a medical expert and health journalist dedicated to promoting well-being. With a background in medicine, she offers evidence-based insights into health trends and wellness practices. Beyond her reporting, Dr. Debi enjoys hiking, yoga, and empowering others to lead healthier lives.