Health Professionals

Clinicasl Updates

31 October, 2012

Dengue fever in Jamaica (including cases in travellers)

As of 20 October 2012, a total of 2,198 suspected cases of dengue fever have been reported in Jamaica compared to 458 in the corresponding period in 2011 and 2,709 in 2010 [1].

Cases have been reported from all administrative areas (parishes) of the island, with most cases reported from the parishes of Kingston and St Andrew [2].

As of 24 October 2012, dengue prevention activities were suspended, following the hurricane Sandy landfall. The storm has affected communities mainly in the Central and Eastern regions of the country [3].

Cases in travellers from the United Kingdom

As of 30 October 2012, 15 cases of dengue in British travellers associated with travel to Jamaica have been reported by the Health Protection Agency in 2012 [4]. This is an increase in reports compared to the whole of 2011 (three cases) and 2010 (six cases).

Advice for travellers

Currently there are no travel restrictions to Jamaica. However, all travellers to areas where dengue is known or presumed to occur should practise mosquito bite avoidance. Aedes mosquitoes bite in the day, particularly around dawn and dusk.

Travellers who develop symptoms such as fever, severe headache, muscle pain and a rash within 14 days of visiting Jamaica are advised to seek medical advice.

There is no vaccine available to protect against dengue.

Further information about dengue can be found on the NaTHNaC Health Information Sheet on dengue fever.

Advice for health professionals

Health professionals who suspect a case of dengue fever in a traveller should send appropriate samples for testing (with full travel and clinical history) to the Health Protection Agency, Rare and Imported Pathogens Laboratory.

References

1. The Government of Jamaica. Jamaica Information Service. Visit the Nearest Health Facility if You Have Severe Symptoms of Dengue or Dengue Haemorrhagic Fever. 28 October 2012. [Accessed 31 October 2012]. Available at: http://www.jis.gov.jm/component/content/article/106-health/32106-recent-rainfall-from-hurricane-sandy-may-have-created-mosquito-breeding-sites

2. The Government of Jamaica. Jamaica Information Service. Govt. commits Additional $14 Million to Tackle Dengue. 11 October 2012. [Accessed 31 October 2012]. Available at:  http://www.jis.gov.jm/news/byministry/31981-govt-commits-additional-14-million-to-tackle-dengue

3. The Government of Jamaica. Hurricane Sandy Situation Report No 8. 30 October 2012. [Accessed 31 October 2012]. Available at: http://reliefweb.int/sites/reliefweb.int/files/resources/

ComprehensiveSituationReport7.pdf

4. Health Protection Agency Travel and Migrant Health Section. Personal communication. 31 October 2012.

Links

Health Protection Agency: Dengue fever

NaTHNaC Health Information Sheet: Dengue

NaTHNaC Health Information Sheet: Insect bite avoidance