(CMR) Various organizations in Jamaica are issue Dengue Fever alerts to their staff after the health minister there has confirmed an outbreak. Cayman officials have not yet issued an alert but persons would be wise to be careful if travelling to and from Jamaica.
The Ministry of Health (MOH) is collaborating with several ministries and agencies to coordinate its response to the dengue fever virus.
Portfolio Minister, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, said that all the resources of the Ministry have been activated to combat the public health threat.
“I will meet with the Minister of Finance and other key ministers and heads of agencies to mobilise additional resources and meet with those agencies that are an important part of clean-up, whether it is gullies, garbage, anything that (contributes to increased) breeding of mosquitoes,”
Dr. Tufton was speaking at a recent press briefing at the Ministry’s corporate offices in New Kingston.
Staff also received notification of the alert after the number of reported cases surpassed the epidemic threshold in December 2018.
Resulting from this, the Ministry has taken a number of actions to minimise the increase in the number of reported cases and to control and eliminate mosquito breeding sites. The threat and response has been escalated to a national level.
In this particular case a Jamaican bank informed staff that they were escalating its monitoring and preparedness activities. They will be preparing regular updates as well as ensuring that branches and offices and their surroundings are cleaned and cleared of possible breeding sites e.g. flower pots, drains on buildings, air-conditioning units’ drain pans etc.
HR will also be monitoring the number of reported cases of staff being affected to ensure there are adequate staffing levels should the situation escalate If you are travelling to Jamaica, please take precautions to reduce any chance of being bitten by a mosquito bearing the disease.
The Health Alert Card is also being utilised to inform travellers to the island about dengue fever and the actions to take in the event that symptoms develop.
According to Tufton, 123 cases of dengue fever were recorded in December 2018. The figure includes suspected, presumed and confirmed cases. Additionally, the Health Minister disclosed that in 2018 the country recorded seven suspected cases of dengue-related deaths.
Including in those was the death of Conrique Gopaulsingh; a third grader at Portsmouth Primary School.
In January 2013 it was stated that Dengue Fever is now endemic to the Cayman Islands. There have been several reported deaths because of the disease.