More Zika cases confirmed

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Minister of Health, Social Affairs and Labour Emil Lee

PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten – “The war on Zika is a war on mosquitos, and our experience so far is that the population isn’t as engaged, knowledgeable, and proactive as they should be,” said Minister of Public Health Emil Lee during Wednesday’s, August 3, Council of Ministers press briefing.

The Ministry of Health has been regularly publishing articles instructing people on the importance of eliminating breeding sites for disease spreading mosquitos. Minister Lee is asking the citizens of St. Maarten for their active help in eliminating breeding grounds around their homes and neighborhoods.

The Collective Prevention Services (CPS) reports that there are now 47 confirmed Zika cases on the Dutch side, and 160 confirmed cases on the French side.

“We are in our rainy season, therefore, citizens need to be more vigilant than ever. There are still way too many examples where residents and businesses are not being proactive enough in helping to eliminate breeding grounds in the community” said Minister Lee.

The Ministry has developed some Zika informational videos in cooperation with Curaçao, which will soon be made public. The CPS is working on a comprehensive prevention plan using all tools available to control this disease vector.

“Ultimately, if we don’t eliminate our own breeding grounds, it will end up being a problem for the whole population. Government simply doesn’t have the resources to eliminate these mosquitos without the help of everyone,” said Minister Lee.