My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: Minister of Health comes clean on Chikungunya Virus Epidemic - 35 Official Cases as 60 percent possibly Infected and Medicines running low

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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Minister of Health comes clean on Chikungunya Virus Epidemic - 35 Official Cases as 60 percent possibly Infected and Medicines running low

“Deaths from Chikungunya are very rare and usually occur in persons with other illnesses, especially chronic illnesses. The death rate from Chikungunya is less than one per cent compared to Dengue, which is one to five per cent and Influenza, which kills millions each year. In 2012, we had a total of 5,929 suspected Dengue cases and in 2013 we had 925 cases”

Minister of Health Dr. Fenton Ferguson during a televised broadcast on Sunday September 28th 2014 regarding concerns about the Chikungunya Virus Epidemic

Minister of Health Dr. Fenton Ferguson, has finally come clean: Jamaica is now experiencing a Chikungunya Virus Epidemic as stated in the article “Health minister's admission on Chikungunya epidemic is only a first step, says Opposition”, published Monday, September 29, 2014 6:07 AM, The Jamaica Observer.

Minister of Health Dr. Fenton Ferguson admitted as much during a televised broadcast on Sunday September 28th 2014 on Love TV and PCBJ at 7:00pm, CVM TV at 9:30pm, Television Jamaica at 10:30pm as well as on Irie, RJR and Nationwide FM at 7:00pm as stated in the article “Health minister to address nation on Chikungunya tonight”, published Sunday, September 28, 2014 9:37 AM, The Jamaica Observer and  “Health minister to outline plans to combat Chik V”, Published Sunday September 28, 2014 10:36 am, The Jamaica Gleaner.

He has effectively redeemed himself in rather clever fashion, using statistics, the main reason for me doing article on the Chikungunya Virus Epidemic in the first place. After all, he’s a dentist and JLP Opposition spokesman on Health Dr. Kenneth Baugh is a Surgeon. NEITHER doctor has a specialized training in Virology or Epidemiology, which would give them a handle on the spread of infectious diseases like the Chikungunya Virus!

He also by this National Broadcast killed any political advantage that the JLP may have garnered at his expense by simply admitting that the official numbers may not reflect the reality on the ground as noted in the article “Health minister's admission on Chikungunya epidemic is only a first step, says Opposition”, published Monday, September 29, 2014 6:07 AM, The Jamaica Observer.

In fact, he spun it around and implored Jamaicans to do their part to prevent the spread of the Chikungunya Virus by destroying their breeding sites created by containers holding stagnant water i.e. ANY water be it piped or otherwise that’s allowed to settle and isn’t flowing as stated in the article “Health minister asks country to help fight Virus”, published Monday, September 29, 2014, The Jamaica Observer.

Well, there goes the Winter Tourism dollars and the Money for Gully and Drain Cleaning, traditional Christmas work, out the window as I’d speculated in my blog article entitled “31 infected during Jamaican Chikungunya Virus Epidemic - 113 Deaths in the Caribbean as Jamaica grapples with Chikungunya Virus Outbreak”.

Ok, so now we know that the Chikungunya Virus is now a “full-blown epidemic” as JLP Opposition spokesman on Health Dr. Kenneth Baugh pointed out on Friday September 26th 2014 in the article “Baugh: Chikungunya now a full blown epidemic”, Friday, September 26, 2014, The Jamaica Observer, what can we really do?

Jamaica’s Chikungunya Virus Epidemic – Blood Transfusions inoculate Jamaica by 60%

So how bad is this Chikungunya Virus Epidemic really?

According to Acting Chief Medical Officer Dr Kevin Harvey during an interview with Dionne Jackson-Miller on All Angles on Wednesday September 24th, 2014, the Chikungunya Virus may affect 30% to 60% of Jamaica's before everyone develops antibody immunity to the disease as reported in the article “Up to 60% of Jamaican population could eventually be affected by Chikungunya - health official”, Thursday September 25, 2014 12:06 pm, RJR Communications Group.

That’s basically 800,000 and 1.6 million Jamaicans! I, however, agree with these figures.

With Blood Drives and Blood Transfusions ongoing, albeit halted due to the phlebotomists involved themselves falling ill as stated in the article “No significant impact of chikungunya on blood supply, says ministry”, published Tuesday, September 30, 2014  BY ANIKA RICHARDS Observer staff reporter, The Jamaica Observer , if 60% become infected, it’ll allow persons to become immune.

Transfusions will naturally contain antibodies and also antigens from the Chikungunya Virus. This will allow persons to absorb antibodies or even antigens from other persons previously infected by the Chikungunya Virus. Thus, by accident, National Blood Transfusion Service is slowly “immunizing”, really inoculating Jamaicans against future strains of the Chikungunya Virus.

Best of all, once you’ve been infected once, you’ll develop immunities that’ll last you a lifetime and that you can pass on to your children.

The real danger is still Dengue Fever, as Minister of Health Dr. Fenton Ferguson rightly asserted during his nationwide televised broadcast on Sunday September 28th 2014.

Jamaican Perception of Chikungunya – Journalists portray it as a Ghetto people Disease

This is the part where I have some fun with this Chikungunya Virus Epidemic!

For starters, there is a perception being portrayed in the Jamaican media that this Chikungunya Virus Epidemic afflicts only the poor living in ghetto communities, both in Kingston and St. Andrew and other parishes that have officially reported Chikungunya Virus cases.

Case to point is this story on the community of Seaview Gardens, where the majority of its community members are showing symptoms of the Chikungunya Virus as noted in the article “Chik-V haven - Seaview among areas hardest hit by Virus”, Published Tuesday September 30, 2014, by Christopher Serju, Gleaner Writer, The Jamaica Gleaner.

In my blog article entitled “31 infected during Jamaican Chikungunya Virus Epidemic - 113 Deaths in the Caribbean as Jamaica grapples with Chikungunya Virus Outbreak”, most of the communities mentioned that are experiencing the Chikungunya Virus are in rural St. Thomas and Portmore, another enclave of the not-so-wealthy aka Upwardly mobile Ghetto people!

So JLP (Jamaica Labour Party) Caretaker for St Thomas Eastern, Delano Seiveright was right.

He’s even more insistent that St. Thomas may be the REAL Ground-Zero, seeing as that part of the Jamaica has the most landing of illegal Haitians immigrants who probably were the first to carry the disease to Jamaica in the first place as stated in the article “St Thomas is ground zero for Chikungunya, says Seiveright”, published Friday September 26, 2014 12:37 pm by Karlene Brown, Assistant News Editor - Radio, The Jamaica Gleaner.

Truth be told, I’ve yet heard of any cases within the Corporate Area that are associated with an affluent Uptown communities like Cherry Gardens or even Beverley Hills being reported by The Jamaica Gleaner, The Jamaica Observer, CVM TV or even the great Television Jamaica that claims to have supposedly award-winning Journalists!

Come to think of it, how come no journalists working at The Jamaica Gleaner, The Jamaica Observer, CVM TV or even the great Television Jamaica has written any personal accounts of their OWN Chikungunya Virus symptoms? Are they somehow living a better life and thus being of a higher socio-economic standing unlikely to get the disease?

Even in the parishes listed, it’s mainly persons living in the no-so-upscale parts of those parishes that are experiencing the Chikungunya Virus, making it appear to be a poor people’s disease:

1.      Kingston
2.      Portland
3.      St Andrew
4.      St Ann
5.      St Catherine
6.      St Mary
7.      St Thomas

The truth is classism has all to do with it. Uptowners can afford to buy DEET and Citronella Candles at ANY price it’s sold, even as high as JA$500. Their price-unconsciousness making it a great product to produce in Jamaica by the way as noted in my Geezam blog article entitled “How to make Environmentally Friendly Citronella (Lemon Grass) Oil for Mosquito Repellant Lotion and Candles”.

I have to think TWICE before spending even JA$200 to buy just foods to survive while at the MICO University College. I still have a little bottle of Citronella Lotion which I had to be using sparingly in order for it to not run out.

Also, most Jamaicans who aren’t wealthy uptowners, wary of high electricity bills, aren’t too keen on using electric Vape mats. So the Destroyer becomes their weapon of choice against Mosquitoes, often resulting in long-term respiratory problems, despite there being alternative ways of killing Mosquitoes as pointed out in my blog article entitled “Minister of Health calls for Public Support for ban on Smoking in Public Spaces - How to kill Mosquitoes using a Carbon Dioxide Generator Mosquito Trap

Chikungunya Virus Conspiracy debunked - Aedes aegypti Mosquito doesn’t know day from night

Then there are the conspiracy theories that make no sense. Persons are insisting that the Chikungunya Virus is airborne, even an American Biological weapon being tested on Jamaica as stated in the article “CHIK-V NONSENSE”, Published Sunday September 28, 2014 by Erica Virtue, Senior Gleaner Writer, The Jamaica Gleaner. Some even dispute how it travels so far and infects so many!

Many Jamaicans they can’t see how the Aedes aegypti Mosquito, which they claim they’re been told is a “day biting” Mosquito, could’ve given them the disease, as they don’t remember being bitten.

Alas, a foible of words due to poor understanding of logic in English as well as Insect Biology.

Day Biting means that the Aedes aegypti Mosquito, a vector for the Dengue Fever Virus also, is mainly active during the daytime, the female Aedes aegypti Mosquito bites victims to extract their blood for nutrients for itself and its next litter of Mosquito eggs which it has to lay in still, stagnant water.

Insects, as a rule, have no active perception of day or night or even days of the year. After all they’re creatures of instinct; they don’t keep calendars or time their days of operation by a wristwatch. They rise to be active when the conditions are favorable for them to do the main thing that they do; reproduce.

However, if the area that the people lie in is constantly lit with lighting, has a lot of noise due to human activity in the night as well as in the daytime and is rich in Carbon Dioxide, the main signature the female Aedes aegypti Mosquito uses to locate its prey, then this “day biting” Mosquito, which has no active perception of day or night, will also be active at night.

To them, those little lights are as bright as the Sun and the moon is just the Sun only dimmer. But more of these artificial streetlights confuse the Mosquito, making them perceive that daytime has really just gotten a little close to the ground on a tall pole or stick in the case of a streetlamp.

This as the female Aedes aegypti Mosquito can’t get to sleep, as it would usually do in the night in the wild, where is quiet at nights.

Constant agitation from our noisy and ever moving Jamaica keeps it active. As such inside of communities that are well lit and noisy with human activity, it may well assume that it’s still daytime. After all, insects, such as moths and Mosquitoes, are known to be attracted to streetlamps and lights inside of buildings at night.

They take advantage of this light and upon finding dwellings where humans are active, agitated noisy and still active at night as if in the day time e.g. Portmore, they take a bite, usually of persons who are fast asleep, as they are easier targets!

Many Jamaicans probably got infected overnight. The rest probably gotten bitten in real Daytime hours when the Sun was shining (note the distinction) but couldn’t recall, as no matter how good your memory may be, you can’t recall every time you’re bitten. And in biting, they can infect you with BOTH the Chikungunya Virus and the Dengue Fever Virus.

Travelling on buses and taxis is a trick they’re easily mastered; buses have sections in them where the air is fairly still and damp such as the undercarriage as well as on the top of the vehicle. They don’t need to travel on airplanes; once a victim is bitten by an infected Aedes aegypti Mosquito, they can carry the Virus internationally before showing signs of being ill.

By the time the Ministry of Health in that country identifies them as an imported case, even while waiting in the airport checkout lounge, they may be bitten by yet another Aedes aegypti Mosquito. They then pass this infection on via biting other in the airport…and so it spreads!

Panadol and Vitamin C – Acetominophen in other products and Vitamin C in Drinks

This Chikungunya Virus epidemic is not only affecting our workforce with its crippling effect and itchy rash, it’s also depleting our pharmacies of brand name drugs. Panadol and Vitamin C is no in short supply in Portmore, with many pharmacies reporting shortages of these most popular drugs used to treat the symptoms of the Chikungunya Virus as stated in the article “Chik-V hits crisis proportions”, published Sunday September 28, 2014, by Gareth Davis Jr, Sunday Gleaner Writer, The Jamaica Gleaner.


Taj Pharmacy in Portmore burned through their consignment of Panadol and Vitamin C in three days. The amount consumed is staggering or a handsome profit, depending on how you look at it:

1.      10,000 tablets of Panadol packaged in 100 boxes
2.      1,000 boxes of Vitamin C tablets

This is the same across all pharmacies in Portmore alone, making it appear that the people are eating Panadol and Vitamin C for lunch, breakfast and dinner. Ironically, acetaminophen as the Americans and Japan call it or Paracetamol as our Europeans refer to it, is present in a variety of other products aside from Panadol as listed in the article Common Medicines with Acetaminophen

1.      Actifed®
2.      Alka-Seltzer Plus Liquid Gels®
3.      Anacin®
4.      Cepacol®
5.      Contac®
6.      Coricidin®
7.      Dayquil®
8.      Dimetapp®
9.      Dristan®
10.  Excedrin®
11.  Feverall®
12.  Formula 44®
13.  Goody’s® Powders
14.  Liquiprin®
15.  Midol®
16.  Nyquil®
17.  Panadol®
18.  Robitussin®
19.  Saint Joseph® Aspirin-Free
20.  Singlet®
21.  Sinutab®
22.  Sudafed®
23.  Theraflu®
24.  Triaminic®
25.  TYLENOL® Brand Products
26.  Vanquish®
27.  Vicks®
28.  Zicam®

Equally troubling is the cost to diagnose yourself as having the Chikungunya Virus despite the fact that there is no cure for illness as stated in the article “Cost of Chik-V test a deterrent”, published Monday, September 29, 2014 BY OPAL CLARKE Observer writer, The Jamaica Observer.

JA$10,000 to pay for a private test, according to JLP (Jamaica Labour Party) Opposition Spokesman on Health Dr Kenneth Baugh as echoed in my blog article entitled “Jamaican Chikungunya Virus cover-up - JA$10,000 for Chikungunya Virus Test as Tropical Storm Edouard boost Aedes aegypti Mosquito”. That’s a lot of corn, man, roughly the cost of my Miscellaneous fees at the MICO University College for which I receive no actual benefit and gain no actual usage!

According to the latest stats, the number of Chikungunya Virus cases in Jamaica now stands at 35 as stated in the article “Cost of Chik-V test a deterrent”, published Monday, September 29, 2014 BY OPAL CLARKE Observer writer, The Jamaica Observer.

Good to note that Director, Emergency, Disaster Management and Special Services, Dr Marion Bullock DuCasse has stopped talking, as the numbers game is no longer working on Jamaicans now showing symptoms of the Chikungunya Virus that they can readily diagnose themselves as noted in the article “Chik-V 'numbers game' over”, published Friday September 26, 2014, The Jamaica Gleaner.

And as the article rightly quotes the JLP (Jamaica Labour Party) Opposition Spokesman on Health Dr Kenneth Baugh as he tries to gain more political mileage, the cost of the Chikungunya Virus is so high that many decide to not bother, becoming their own doctor’s by diagnosing and treating themselves.

The Jamaica Observer made it a point to check the actual prices for a Chikungunya Virus and reported these figures

1.      JA$3,600 at Andrews Memorial Hospital
2.      JA$8,000 at the UHWI (University Hospital of the West Indies)

No more blame game – Support MOH or face problems with Dengue Fever and Ebola Virus

So I've decided to stop blaming Minister of Health Dr. Fenton Ferguson for his little cover-up. instead, I’ve decided to do a little study in virology and epidemiology on my own as I have a funny feeling that a bigger storm is brewing in the form of the Ebola Virus as noted in my blog article entitled “Trinidad PM Kamla Persad-Bissessar's CARICOM Meeting - Preventing Caribbean Chikungunya Virus and Ebola Virus Epidemic by Christmas 2014”.


The Chikungunya Virus, statistically speaking, has a low mortality rate compared to Dengue Fever. Dengue Fever is also a Virus that the Aedes aegypti Mosquito is known to carry. Thus I must be a part of the solution, thereby making it necessary for me to dispense his advice in order to rally Jamaica to help rid the country of their breeding sites and reduce it spread:

1.      Close your windows and doors and cover them with Screens
2.      place babies under mosquito nets to prevent them from being bitten by mosquitoes
3.      Use mosquito repellents on exposed skin such as DEET or Citronella Oil
4.      Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants.
5.      Covering empty standing outdoor water containers
6.      Get rid of all water where mosquitoes can breed

And finally as a plug for myself, along with drugs that contain acetaminophen, you can also use my herbal remedy for the Chikungunya Virus as described in my blog article entitled “How to fight Illness including Chikungunya Virus using Spices - US$40 Joseph Joseph SpiceStore Carousel helps you organize”.


This as the stronger our immune system, they better able you’ll be to defend yourself against the Chikungunya Virus and the quicker you’ll be back on your feet.

Folks, that's money for testing for the Chikungunya Virus is basically my spending money I have budgeted for the month at the MICO University College, as I'm trying to get my Professional Diploma in Teaching, basically a B.ED in the next 2 years the cheapest way I can!

But are there more effective treatments for the Chikungunya Virus? And what are the positive benefits of this Chikungunya Virus outbreak? More importantly has anyone died yet from the Chikungunya Virus in Jamaica? And what about the Caribbean and the rest of Latin America?

More on this in another article as I plan to visit SERHA (South East Regional Health Authority) to ask some questions!





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