Respiratory illness in students in JA

There’s a growing case of respiratory illness among children in Jamaica that has prompted the concern of the government there.

President of the College of Agriculture Science and Education (CASE) in Portland, Dr Derrick Deslandes, says the institution continues to actively monitor the cases of respiratory illness impacting students.

About 20 students are affected and that they developed difficulty breathing, according to Dr Derrick.

But it is not a case of COVID-19 according to Dr Derrick who said that “this is something that oftentimes occurs given the fact that we are in the flu season. These are normal cases with flu-like symptoms and it is expected,”.

Tests conducted by the health ministry earlier this week returned negative for COVID-19.

He said  “But if we see a little more than usual then it would be some cause for concern. We have had discussion with the Ministry of Health to man that situation and just to encourage students to social distance and mask-wearing, and to ensure that whatever can be done is done to keep it under control. We have 800 students and just about 20 are affected. We have had such over the years and we just have to monitor the situation. So far, we are managing the situation,”.

The management of Region 2 of the Ministry of Education had confirmed that since last week, the Ministry of Health conducted tests on several students who have shown signs of respiratory illnesses at the Portland-based boarding institution.


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