$250-million to fight dengue fever outbreak in Jamaica

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dengue.jpgKINGSTON, Jamaica -- The Ministry of Health is allocating an additional $250 million to support enhanced measures to contain the spread of the dengue fever virus.

Health Minister, Dr Christopher Tufton, made the disclosure at a press conference held at the ministry's corporate offices in New Kingston today, where he confirmed that the virus surpassed the epidemic threshold for December.

Tufton said the latest figures from the Epidemiological Unit indicate that 123 dengue case reports (suspected, presumed and confirmed) were received for the month.

"This exceeded the outbreak threshold of 96 cases for December, and is the first month for 2018 in which the number of cases exceeded the outbreak threshold," he said.

"This has been a more active season than last year, and we have been observing and monitoring the numbers and increases with each month, but by the clinical standards could only claim an epidemic once the threshold is surpassed," Tufton noted.

He said that there were seven suspected and two confirmed cases of dengue-related deaths for the period January to December 2018.

A total of 830 reported cases have been classified as suspected, presumed or confirmed since January 2018.