Concerns about spike in respiratory illness in Jamaica, awaiting test results

After learning that staff at one hospital have been absent due to flu-like symptoms, Jamaicans are worried about the impact the recent respiratory sickness outbreak could have on the country’s healthcare infrastructure. Researchers are attempting to identify the virus that is causing the rise in respiratory illnesses.

Several patients at the Bustamante Hospital for Children have been transferred to the University Hospital of the West Indies as a result of the increase.

The Bustamante Hospital for Children’s Principal Medical Officer, Dr. Michelle-Ann Richards Dawson, disclosed on Tuesday that the hospital’s personnel has also been impacted.

To identify the virus that is causing the rise in respiratory illnesses, samples will need to be sent to the National Public Health lab, according to Dr. Richards Dawson, who was speaking on Radio Jamaica’s Beyond the Headlines.

However, she highlighted that the findings of the most recent tests are not yet available, making it impossible to say whether the Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) still a role. She did, however, admit that the health authorities had been noticing symptoms of RSV a few months ago.

Children as young as two are frequently affected by the respiratory syncytial virus, which can lead to infections of the lungs and respiratory system. Adults are also affected.

Speaking on Beyond the Headlines, public health specialist Dr. Orville Nembhard stated that the current respiratory infection wave has had a particularly negative impact on some youngsters, necessitating the hospitalization of “a few of the little ones.”

The primary school age group, he said, “seems to fare okay on the symptomatic treatment at home,” although many of them are “very sick for the first few days.”

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