Jamaica is experiencing a dengue fever outbreak which is causing concern in many communities.
The Ministry of Health & Wellness reported that dengue reached the epidemic threshold for July and August and is on a trajectory to do the same for September. Jamaica had recorded 565 suspected, presumed and confirmed cases of dengue by September 22. Of that number, 78 cases had been confirmed with majority of the cases seen in Kingston & St Andrew, St Catherine and St Thomas. The dominant strain is dengue type 2, which last predominated in 2010. There are no dengue-related deaths so far, however, six deaths are being investigated.
Dengue fever is a mosquito-borne disease that is usually a mild illness causing fever, headache, joint, and muscle pains. Rest and adequate hydration are usually enough to gain full recovery. The recommended treatment for the fever is acetaminophen/paracetamol.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says dengue viruses are “spread to people through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito.”
About one in four people infected get sick, with mild symptoms including nausea, vomiting, rash, aches and pains, according to the CDC. Recovery takes about a week.