The Ministry of Health has confirmed a report of a suspected dengue haemorrhagic fever-related death in late August of an adult male from the parish of Trelawny.
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. The Ministry urges members of the public 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.
Dengue haemorrhagic fever (DHF) is a rare complication of dengue fever and results in internal bleeding and bleeding under the skin, which can lead to death. Immediate medical attention should be sought once an infected person begins to vomit, have severe abdominal pain, develop a petechial rash, feel very weak, or get confused.
In keeping with trends in recent years, the Ministry expects that the number of cases of mosquito-borne diseases will increase in late August to October. In anticipation of this, the Ministry has begun mosquito-control activities, including a public education campaign, home inspections, destruction of breeding sites and fogging.
Below the Epidemic Threshold
So far, the number of dengue cases remains below the epidemic threshold, that is, within expected levels and the Ministry will continue to monitor reports of mosquito-borne diseases through its national epidemiological surveillance system.
Members of the public are encouraged to play their part in ensuring that the cases are minimised by monitoring water storage containers for mosquito breeding; keeping surroundings free of debris; destroying or treating potential mosquito breeding sites; wearing protective clothing; using a DEET-containing mosquito repellant and, as much as possible, staying indoors at dusk with windows and doors closed.