Health min­istry gives malaria up­date on ves­sel from Nicaragua

Daily Observer (Jamaica) - - NEWS -

THE Min­istry of Health says it is mon­i­tor­ing the sit­u­a­tion after a ves­sel from Nicaragua was in­ter­cepted in Ja­maican wa­ters with sev­eral peo­ple on board, three of whom were di­ag­nosed with malaria.

In a re­lease yes­ter­day, the min­istry said it will, through the Kingston and St An­drew Health Depart­ment, con­tinue to mon­i­tor the sit­u­a­tion and take the nec­es­sary ac­tion to pro­tect the pub­lic.

The min­istry said the Ja­maica Coast Guard on Tues­day no­ti­fied it, through the Port Health Team, of the ves­sel be­ing in Ja­maican wa­ters.

“On ar­rival at the Ja­maica De­fence Force (JDF) Coast Guard head­quar­ters, there were 93 males on board the ves­sel. They gave a his­tory of hav­ing been at sea for four days.

“The Kingston and St An­drew Health Depart­ment ex­e­cuted the stan­dard op­er­at­ing pro­ce­dures for clin­i­cal/pub­lic health assess­ment and in­ter­ven­tions,” the re­lease said yes­ter­day.

After ini­tial assess­ment, the min­istry said two peo­ple were di­ag­nosed with malaria. A third was di­ag­nosed on a sub­se­quent assess­ment. These three peo­ple were iso­lated and treated at the Kingston Pub­lic Hos­pi­tal, the re­lease said.

Ac­cord­ing to the min­istry, vec­tor con­trol ac­tiv­i­ties, in­clud­ing dis­in­fec­tion of the ves­sel, was con­ducted and are on­go­ing as per stan­dard op­er­at­ing pro­ce­dures.

“Of note, no Anophe­les mos­quito (the mos­quito vec­tor that trans­mits malaria) breed­ing sites were found in any of the lo­ca­tions the mem­bers of the crew ac­cessed,” the min­istry said.

Ac­cord­ing to the re­lease, Ja­maica was re­turned to the malaria-free list in 2012 after an out­break in 2006.

“The last lo­cal case of malaria was in 2009. Since then we have con­tin­ued to see cases of im­ported malaria each year. Ja­maica has been able to main­tain its malaria-free sta­tus through sur­veil­lance, early de­tec­tion, and rapid iso­la­tion and treat­ment of all cases.

“We en­cour­age the pub­lic to play their part in keep­ing Ja­maica malaria-free by re­port­ing to pub­lic health of­fi­cials any un­of­fi­cial en­try of for­eign­ers. The mem­bers of the pub­lic should en­sure that they pro­tect them­selves be­fore visit­ing coun­tries that have on­go­ing malaria trans­mis­sion,” the re­lease said.

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