PHILIPSBURG – Prime Minister William Marlin and teams from the Fire Department and VROMI, attended a presentation on the Zika virus by Dr. Virginia Asin Oostburg, held at the Fire Department on Friday, April 1.
Dr. Oostburg discussed the evolution of the Zika virus, the symptoms, how to confirm if someone has contracted the virus and prevention measures.
The Zika virus is contracted when an infected mosquito bites a person. Symptoms of the virus include red eyes, mild fever, skin rashes and joint pain. Statistics show that 1 out of 4 persons will develop symptoms after being bitten by an infected mosquito. Symptoms usually develop within 2 to 7 days after being bitten. There are specific blood tests that need to be done in order to determine whether or not someone has contracted the virus.
Also presenting was Maria Henry from CPS, who explained that although the public consistently requests that the government execute regular fogging, there is no guarantee that the adult mosquitos will be killed. In fact, if mosquitos are not killed by the fogging chemicals, the mosquitoes become increasingly immune to these chemicals. Therefore, fogging is a rather expensive method, with no guarantee of prevention.
The elimination of breeding sites is proved to be the best prevention method. This means ensuring that there is no still water in areas such as old tires, buckets, etc.
Prime Minister Marlin commended Dr. Oostburg and Henry for their informative presentation and requested more presentations of this nature to be given to the general public, as it is important for the community to know the correct information and what steps need to be taken.