Continue to take measures to eliminate mosquito breeding sites after rainfall to lower the mosquito population

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GREAT BAY (DCOMM) – The Collective Preventive Services (CPS), a government department under the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour, says daily intermittent rainfall creates mosquito breeding opportunities, and therefore, every household and business enterprise needs to continue taking proactive measures to prevent mosquitos from breeding.

Be on the alert for mosquito breeding sites and eliminate them especially after every rainfall event!

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/vases or in pet dishes for more than two days.  Throw out the water and turn them over every time it collects water.

Maintain ‘screen off cistern outlets,’ covers and screen off septic tanks properly, and screen windows and doors.

An increase in the mosquito population puts residents and visitors at risk for a mosquito borne disease.

The Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) recently reported that the number of zika cases in the Caribbean has significantly declined from the outbreak of 2016, however, there is still need for continued vigilance and action on mosquito borne diseases, which pose a health security threat, a tourism threat, and an economic threat.

Zika, the newest and latest mosquito borne disease to the Region, came on the heels of chikungunya which affected the health and economic structure of most countries and territories.

In late 2015, the Caribbean confirmed its first case of the zika virus, followed by a dramatic increase in 2016.

The number of laboratory requests and confirmed tests peaked in August, then began a steady decline to December. The zika epidemic has shown signs of a significant slow-down, and the risk to residents and visitors is deemed much lower. However, the region continues to struggle and fight against the Aedes aegypti mosquito responsible for its transmission.

Zika has been associated with an increase in Guillian Barre syndromes (GBS) in five CARPHA member states (CMS). A zika-associated case of microcephaly has also been reported in one country. No reports of sexually transmitted zika cases in CMS have been documented. These associated complications can have a marked impact on the people affected and their communities.

Dr. C. James Hospedales, Executive Director of CARPHA said, “The Region has seen dengue, chikungunya, and now zika which is transmitted by the same mosquito, and the key to tackling them is prevention and control. We must continue to literally wage war on them. But we need to be smarter. We need new approaches and technologies and partners against this threat, which is present throughout most of the tropical world.”

CPS says the war on mosquitos requires an integrated collaborative and effective approach and therefore calls on the populace 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 a mosquito borne disease.

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 send us an email atsurveillance@sintmaartengov.org