Population asked to Help Beat ZikV. Vector control team now in Weymouth Hill area  

Vector Control Team along with volunteers.

GREAT BAY, Sint Maarten (DCOMM) – The National Mosquito Elimination Community Program Zika Virus disease (ZikV) “Beat ZikV,” completed its inspection of the residential area of South Reward and is now busy in the Weymouth Hill area.  Inspections in the latter district will continue this weekend.

The cooperation of all residents is needed in order to beat the Zika virus and other mosquito-borne diseases.

The vector control team and volunteers visited in total 76 +/- premises of which 35 were found open for yard inspections.  Six out of the 35 dwellings were found positive with mosquito larvae. The total yards inspectors by the vector control unit in the Cul de Sac area is 333 and 21 per cent are positive with mosquito larvae.

A home owner’s survey was also carried out to determine people’s attitudes towards and knowledge of mosquitos and elimination measures.

Even though the residents of the Cul de Sac Basin are aware of mosquito problems in their area, 35 per cent said that the Collective Prevention Service (CPS) wanted to see fogging; 26 per cent wanted a non-chemical control such as eliminating standing water; several homeowners requested more backyard mosquito surveys and better educational programs; while 35 per cent purchased insecticides to control the mosquito populations in their yards.  Surprisingly, only 19 per cent of the homeowners carry out their own mosquito elimination measures when they have a mosquito problem.

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 personnel from the Department of Community Development and Humanitarian Affairs, and volunteers from the St. Maarten Red Cross and the American University of the Caribbean (AUC).

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.

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