Dengue remains widespread in Manchester

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Dengue remains widespread in Manchester

Thursday, December 12, 2019

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MANCHESTER, Jamaica — Health officials say dengue remains a major problem in this south-central parish.

Speaking at the monthly sitting of the Manchester Municipal Corporation today (December 12), Acting Medical Officer of Health Shannette Blair-Walters said the Manchester Health department "continues to see [dengue] cases in almost all health facilities".

She said that the dengue virus which is spread by mosquitoes and can cause serious illness and even death is making its presence felt across Manchester.

"When the outbreak was first announced most of the cases were concentrated in the north section of the parish. However, these cases are now widely distributed throughout the length and breadth of the parish of Manchester," she said.

"We have been made aware of two suspected dengue-related deaths recently...The [deaths] are currently being investigated and are not yet confirmed [as dengue-related]," she went on.

She added, "Our resources are still able to meet the demands of the [dengue] cases at this time in the health centres as well as hospitals."

She says there has been improvement in the public health education in schools in the parish.

"We have sought to improve our public education in another way. Recently our public education has been focused on what is called cluster training to include as many as possible schools across the parish. This focus has been placed on the administrators, the auxiliary staff and we have sought to teach them as to how to search and destroy the different [mosquito] breeding sites. We have also been able to engage them to come up with action plans which we have looked at and which are now being implemented," she said.

Kasey Williams

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