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No need to panic

JOA president monitoring rise in dengue cases in France ahead of Olympics

WITH 85 DAYS left before the start of the 2024 Paris Olympics, concerns are mounting due to the rise in dengue cases in the country.

With well over 1,500 reported cases since the start of the year, president of the Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA), Christopher Samuda, stated that while his organisation is closely monitoring the situation, he has faith in the health authorities in France to control the situation.

“Paris is contending with challenges which are not uncommon to games but an increase recently with the number of dengue imported cases raises the temperature.

“I am, however, confident that the French health authorities have the wherewithal to prevent it from raising to a fever pitch and posing a real risk to the games. The Jamaica Olympic Association is monitoring the matter and the medical team is quite experienced in preventative and diagnostic medicine and care,” he explained.

At a press conference earlier this week, Gregory Emery, director general of health in France, said when compared to this point in 2023, there has been a significant uptick.

“Since January 1, 2024, 1,679 cases of dengue have been imported into metropolitan France, against 131 during the same period in 2023. These cases correspond to people who travelled to regions of the world, such as the French Antilles, where the virus is transmitted by mosquitoes of the Aedes albopictus species,” said Emery.

According to Samuda, while there’s ample time for the relevant authorities to stem the situation, the health and safety of Jamaica’s team are the JOA’s top priority.

“We must, nevertheless, guard against overreacting and panic attacks which would inflame the situation when they’re dying embers. The health and safety of athletes, coaches and managers are paramount for the JOA and in that regard, we would keep a watch and never sleep,” said the JOA boss.

With the number of dengue cases affecting France, Samuda explained that the JOA has safety rules and regulations already in place to avoid any possibility of putting members of the Jamaican team at risk.

“Our protocols dictate that before travelling, personal doctors should evaluate, and if satisfied, provide a clean bill just to ensure that there are no underlying conditions that would predispose a person to succumbing to existing health risks in the country hosting the games,” said Samuda.



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