Hanover sees big jump in suspected and confirmed dengue cases

BY ANTHONY LEWIS Observer writer

LUCEA, Hanover — The Hanover Health Department is leaving no stone unturned as the parish grapples with a significant increase in suspected and confirmed dengue cases.

For September the parish recorded 24 suspected cases of which eight are confirmed. This is a drastic increase in comparison to the previous month when the parish recorded two suspected cases and no confirmed cases.

Acting Chief Public Health Inspector Fritz Francis said workers have been deployed across the parish to address the issue.

“We have been deploying teams accordingly, based on the notifications and also the indices for the different areas. So all the high-risk areas with high indices, the team has been deployed in those areas and we are aiming to get those,” stated Francis.

Francis was speaking with the Jamaica Observer during the monthly general meeting of the Hanover Municipal Corporation, at which he made a presentation on Thursday.

The senior inspector said the department has a total of nine permanent workers. Besides this, some 30 temporary workers have been engaged for enhanced programmes while, through dialogue with members of the wider team, some 60 people are to be employed.

“So, Hanover should have at least 100 task workers throughout the parish to conduct larvicidal and also adulticidal activities,” Francis said.

Francis said the aim is to have four teams by the end of the month conducting adulticidal activities.

Francis further gave possible causes for the increase seen.

“The truth is, we have a lot of persons travelling from different places. We have a lot of high-density areas that have a lot of characteristics that boast the proliferation of the Aedes aegypti mosquito. And, with that said, the risk is greater at this time when you have persons travelling from these high-density areas,” stated Francis.

He also listed areas in the parish with potable water challenges as a contributor.

“These areas from time to time boast a high Aedes index. They [areas] are not frequently manned or not serviced at all by the National Water Commission so they have to resort to the storage of water in different containers,” argued Francis.

Photo: Acting Chief Public Health Inspector Fritz Francis

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