Ministry of Health monitoring patient with suspected water borne disease

Dr. Winston De La Haye


Jamaica’s Ministry of Health is monitoring a patient who has presented symptoms of  a water borne bacteria which is a form of  vibrio cholerae.

The Ministry has declared that it is not cholera, even as it awaits confirmation of the diagnosis.

Chief  Medical Officer Dr. Winston De La Haye says the patient's symptoms are not consistent with that severe diarrhoeal illness.

He told RJR News that on June 9 the patient was re-admitted to hospital, after recent bowel surgery, with fever.

Routine investigations identified the water borne bacteria in his blood.

Dr. De La Haye said the patient's test results were received on Friday from the Public Health Laboratory.

“The first order of business is to determine which type of organism it is; there are a number of other species, and it is for that reason that we have sent off a sample to CARPHA (Caribbean Public Health Agency) in Trinidad & Tobago, which is our usual reference laboratory,” he revealed.

In the meantime, he said, the local health authorities have taken account of the patient’s physical presentation: “an individual who has no symptoms of what we know as cholera, meaning the heavy diarrheal disease, which is the one responsible for the kind of spread that you see in countries like Haiti.”

Nevertheless, he said the authorities will have to await the test results from CARPHA to confirm the diagnosis.

The results are expected by Tuesday.

As a precautionary measure, the patient has been isolated and is receiving treatment.




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