Country has Seven Lab Confirmed Zika Virus Cases. CPS Re-enforces message to the community to take measures to prevent mosquito breeding

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GREAT BAY, Sint Maarten (DCOMM) – The Collective Preventive Services (CPS), a government department under the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour, says the country officially has seven lab confirmed zika cases.

Of the seven laboratory confirmed cases, five are women, and two are males; the youngest female is 36-years old and the oldest 65; the youngest male is eight years old and the oldest male is 52; and the areas where the individuals are residing are: Saunders, St. John’s, Cul de Sac, and Cole Bay.

CPS re-enforces its message that all residents and businesses need to take measures to prevent mosquitos from breeding.

CPS is also calling on the community as well as visitors to wear light colored clothing at dusk; long sleeve shirts and pants; and use mosquito repellent to prevent being bitten by a mosquito that could possibly be carrying dengue, zika or chikungunya.

Dengue fever, zika and chikungunya are transmitted by the female vector Aedes Aegypti mosquito. The Aedes Aegypti mosquito is distinguished by its markings. The body of the mosquito has alternate black and white horizontal stripes. The Aedes Aegypti mosquito lays her eggs in clear (clean) stagnant water. Within eight days the mosquito can complete its life cycle from egg, to larvae to pupae and to adult mosquito.

Persons are also requested to keep their homes, yards, neighborhoods and work environment free from potential mosquito breeding sites.

Actively destroy or dispose of tin cans, old tires, buckets, unused plastic swimming pools or other containers that collect and hold water. Do not allow water to accumulate in the saucers of flowerpots, cemetery urns/vase or in pet dishes for more than two days.  Throw out the water and turn them over every time it collects water.

Check around construction sites or do-it-yourself improvements to ensure that proper backfilling and grading is realized to prevent drainage problems which can be a source for standing water.  Empty all construction containers such as blue tanks, buckets, paint cans etc.

Mosquitoes can be kept out of the home by keeping windows, doors and porches tightly screened (16-18 mesh). Those insects that do get into structures can be eliminated with a fly swatter or an aerosol space spray containing synergized pyrethrum.

Screen off cistern outlets, cover and screen septic tanks properly.

The aforementioned measures should also be taken in and around the workplace, social gatherings and living quarters to eliminate mosquito breeding sources.

An increase in the mosquito population puts residents and visitors at risk. For information about dengue fever, zika and chikungunya prevention measures, you can call CPS 542-2078 or 542-3003 or the emergency number 550-2255 that is 550-CALL to report mosquito breeding sites.