Dengue fears heighten after outbreak declared

September 25, 2023
A section of Two Miles, St Andrew, which residents feel may be a haven for dengue-spreading mosquitoes.
A section of Two Miles, St Andrew, which residents feel may be a haven for dengue-spreading mosquitoes.

With the declaration of an outbreak of dengue fever across the island by the Ministry of Health and Wellness this weekend, the residents of Two Miles, St Andrew, have expressed their fear that they will be greatly affected.

"Dem nuh fog round yah inna years. It ago bruk out pon we worst round yah because a bare mosquito site and we not even know how it spread, we nuh know nothing," one resident shared.

According to the ministry, as of Friday, the country had recorded 565 suspected, presumed and confirmed cases of dengue. Of that number, 78 cases had been confirmed with the majority of the cases seen in Kingston and St Andrew, St Catherine and St Thomas. The ministry said the dominant strain is Dengue Type 2, which last predominated in 2010.

The residents told THE STAR that they do not believe there is enough public information and sensitisation about the mosquito-borne disease, and they are left with prayers and their faith to ward the illness away.

"Me caah really burn the destroyer 'cause a di scent and me nuh have nuh whole heap a container in my yard. Weh me fi do den? Nobody nah come round here and talk to we. We just affi do weh we can and keep the place clean," another resident expressed.

Another resident said that she is concerned for the health of her nine-year-old daughter who was diagnosed with dengue by doctors at the Bustamante Hospital for Children on Friday.

She related that her child was complaining for days of having a headache and body pains and was not eating. A friend recommended that she take her child to the hospital; that confirmed her worst fears.

"Dem a say the only thing dem can gi me is Panadol. Dem say me fi give her liquid, and nuh force her fi eat. A the first time she a catch something like this. Me glad me never siddung a wait because probably she would a worse.

"Round yah nuh fog out. From dem say malaria done, me nuh see nobody come back round yah," she said. "Look pon the road good, not even rubbish truck nuh come round yah."

That's why she believes that there will be an increase in dengue cases in Two Miles.

"This is a community weh the pickney dem run up and down a lot together most of di time, and dem say dengue is something weh catching. Me have three kids in my house so me caah scorn the one weh sick. All me can do a just buy some mosquito net fi protect my baby, me nuh know wah else lef fi me do," she said.

The residents indicated that they will be making additional efforts to clean their homes and dispose of containers that may store water. They are also hoping that the relevant authorities will assist them.

"We need dem fi come round here and see how we living. We need fi know more bout dis ting here because it ago get serious. Round here wah fog out, wah wash out, it wah everything out. We need help," the residents lamented.

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. These drugs, when used to treat the fever in Dengue, have been known to increase the severity of the disease.

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