Corporate Area residents on the lookout for dengue

September 20, 2023
A blocked drain in Seaview Gardens, St Andrew.
A blocked drain in Seaview Gardens, St Andrew.
Raw sewage in Denham Town, Kingston.
Raw sewage in Denham Town, Kingston.
Stagnant water in Wilton Gardens.
Stagnant water in Wilton Gardens.

Although fully aware that the country is experiencing a rise in dengue cases, some inner-city residents say they are not worried.

Residents of St Joseph Road, more commonly known as Two Miles, have been using egg trays and shells to prevent the spread of the virus within their space.

"The mosquitoes dem bad a night time but we nuh worry ourselves because we have the egg tray and shell fi dem. At nights we get a paint pan and we break up the shell and tray in it. When that light, mosquitoes have to scatter," said a woman who identified herself as Patsy.

At a recent press conference held by the Ministry of Health and Wellness, it was revealed that there were at least 316 suspected, presumed, or confirmed dengue cases. This is significantly higher than the corresponding period in 2022. Health Minister Dr Christopher Tufton noted that while all parishes have had reported cases, the confirmed infections were detected in Kingston and St Andrew, St Thomas, St Catherine, Westmoreland, Portland and St Ann.

Admitting that she knows how deadly the virus can be, Patsy said she and others usually keep their spaces clean.

"The garbage truck come often and we do our part by cleaning and sweeping every day, and anyhow di truck nuh come, we a go burn we garbage suh mosquito nah go too harbour a day. But at nights, a gang up ting dem deal wid," she said. The most common symptoms of dengue fever are high fever, headache, body aches, nausea and rash. Another resident stated that the residents are immune to diseases.

"Nuff time we see sickness a lick down some other place but it nuh come pon dis road. Nuh matter how much storm come, we survive," the woman said.

Mark, who resides on Woodrow Street, Jones Town, said he had contracted the virus before but is unbothered about a possible outbreak. He and his neighbours have their own mosquito defence system.

"Dem nuh really fog round here but we do it ourselves when we use the green bush and light fire a night time. Once the place start get dark, the mosquitoes dem come out. But mi nuh really worry about dengue although mi catch it two times already. I wasn't living here, but one a di time it land mi in the hospital. But mi survive suh mi nuh really worry about it. Mi just make sure say mi keep mi surroundings clean," Mark said.

The Sandy Gully, which runs through sections of Seaview Gardens, was recently cleaned by the Kingston and St Andrew Municipal Corporation, but residents said that a shower of rain can turn it into a breeding space for mosquitoes. But they are not worried about contracting dengue.

"Mi hear about it but mi never know anyone who catch it still. Mi nuh keep idle water around mi and the way the yard dem build, not even grass can grow. But somehow the mosquitoes dem find dem way out. Nuff a dem breed up in the gully. When rain fall uptown, we feel it down here because everything wash and settle here suh. Suh all a dem garbage deh ago help breed dem up," she said.

Cyril, another resident, implored the relevant authorities to fog the area regularly.

" A lot of people system weak out after COVID ... suh it a go make a lot of us catch dengue easily. Mi nuh kill up myself over it, but if mi can prevent it, I will do so. But from Seaview make, mosquitoes deh here and dem nah go leave, so chances are dengue a go deh here too. Mi nah fret still," he said.

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