Jamaica confirms one dengue-related death

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Jamaica health authorities are confirming at least one dengue related death so far this year after initially indicating that there were no confirmed dengue-related deaths on the island in 2018.
‘Up to June 11, 2018, the Ministry of Health received a total of six notifications of possible dengue-related deaths,” the Ministry of Health said in a statement.
But it noted that the dengue-related death this year is based on a positive Antibody Blood Test (IgM) in respect of one person who died, but noted that confirmation is only made with a positive dengue PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) test which, in this instance, was negative.
“In addition to the case mentioned above, two other deaths fit the clinical case definition for dengue-related deaths. These other two deaths fit the clinical case definition but have no positive dengue results (IgM or PCR), and therefore remain suspected cases,” the Ministry of Health added.
It said the remaining three of the six notifications do not fit the case definition for dengue-related deaths based on the information provided on the notifications and are not considered suspected cases at this time. However, the ministry continues to investigate these cases.
“Dengue fever is a mosquito-borne tropical disease caused by the dengue virus and is endemic in Jamaica. The virus is transmitted by the bite of an infected female Aedes aegypti mosquito. The Aedes is the same vector that transmits the chikungunya and zika viruses,” the Ministry of Health said.
Symptoms for dengue typically begin three to 14 days after infection. This may include a high fever, headache, vomiting, muscle and joint pains, and a skin rash. Symptoms usually last two to seven days. There is no specific treatment for dengue, but access to proper medical care reduces mortality rates, the Ministry of Health said.

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