71 premises visited in Betty’s Estate. Out of 28 One in five homes with mosquito larvae   

Vector control fogging that was carried out Wednesday in order to eliminate the mosquito population.  This is one of the measures being used by CPS. (CPS Photo)

GREAT BAY, Sint Maarten (DCOMM) – The National Mosquito Elimination Community Program Zika Virus disease (ZikV) “Beat ZikV,” last weekend was in the residential area of Betty’s Estate, and of the homes visited, one in five homes had mosquito larvae.

The vector control team and volunteers visited in total 71 +/- premises of which 28 were found open for yard inspections.

A home owner’s survey was also carried out in Betty’s Estate together with the yard inspection in order to determine people’s attitudes towards and knowledge of mosquitos and elimination measures.

The survey revealed that 54 per cent of the home owners questioned considered mosquito’s a problem, and 40 per cent limited their time outdoors because of mosquitoes.  Only 18 per cent of those questioned thought that the mosquito problem had worsen within the last three years while 56 per cent were of the opinion that the mosquito problem had remained unchanged.

Collective Prevention Services (CPS) within the Ministry of Public Health Social Development is coordinating this campaign.

The Vector Control Unit of CPS was supported by volunteers from the Red Cross.

The Beat ZikV campaign will be heading on Saturday, September 17 to the residential areas of Ebenezer and St. Peters.  The cooperation of all residents are needed in order to beat the Zika virus.

Mosquitoes are one of the deadliest animals in the world. Their ability to carry and spread disease to humans causes millions of deaths every year.

In 2015 malaria alone caused 438 000 deaths. The worldwide incidence of dengue has risen 30-fold in the past 30 years, and more countries are reporting their first outbreaks of the disease.

Zika, dengue, chikungunya, and yellow fever are all transmitted to humans by the Aedes aegypti mosquito. More than half of the world’s population lives in areas where this mosquito species is present.

Sustained mosquito control efforts are important to prevent outbreaks from these diseases. There are several different types of mosquitoes and some have the ability to carry many different diseases.

The Beat ZikV community program calls for close cooperation of residents within the identified district (s) to ensure a smooth operation of house to house visits and their availability to create an opportunity to provide one on one education on the elimination of mosquito breeding sites in and around the house.

The ultimate objective is to minimize the occurrence of mosquito borne diseases by eliminating mosquito breeding sites within the districts with a special focus on the elimination of the Aedes Aegypti mosquito.

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.

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 to report mosquito breeding sites or email: surveillance@sintmaartengov.org