Thu | Sep 21, 2017

Five parishes record highest levels of mosquito breeding

Published:Wednesday | February 17, 2016 | 2:00 AM

Kingston, St Andrew, St Catherine, Clarendon and St Elizabeth are recording the highest concen-tration of mosquito-breeding sites. However, there are also several areas in other parishes that are of concern for the breeding of the main carrier diseases such as the zika virus, chikungunya, dengue and yellow fever. This was disclosed by acting chief medical officer, Dr Winston De La Haye.

"We are finding that despite the information that we have put out, several communities still have high levels of breeding for the aedes aegypti mosquito which spreads the zika, chikungunya and dengue viruses," Dr De La Haye pointed out.

"We cannot stress enough the importance of persons taking individual action and responsibility where this issue is concerned. This is the only way that we will make any significant gains in the fight against zika and these other diseases."

He said the Ministry of Health is appealing for persons to search for and destroy mosquito-breeding sites, especially in light of the confirmation of Zika virus on the island and the continued circulation of other mosquito-borne diseases such as dengue fever and chikungunya.

CANNOT DO IT ALONE

The Zika virus is spread by the bite of an infected Aedes aegypti mosquito. This mosquito breeds in clear stagnant water primarily in areas where people live and gather, including the home, school, business place and church.

"This is why the removal and prevention of mosquito-breeding sites have to be a partnership with the people. The Government cannot do it alone. We urge persons to make it a part of their routine," Dr De La Haye said.

Persons can destroy mosquito-breeding sites by looking for anything around the home, school, churches and business places that may collect water and either cover it, keep it dry or dispose of it. Repair leaking pipes and outdoor faucets, cut the grass short and trim shrubbery, clear roof gutters and eaves to prevent water from settling and fill in and drain any low places in the yard, such as areas where there are usually puddles when it rains.

The Ministry of Health confirmed its first case of Zika virus infection on January 29, and has since visited 3,787 households and 32 blood samples were taken.

Over 27 samples were sent from Jamaica to the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA). So far, CARPHA has not reported any other sample positive for zika virus; however, five of the samples were positive for the dengue virus.

Individuals who wish to obtain more information may call the Ministry of Health or the nearest health centre. Persons may also visit our website at moh.gov.jm and like and follow us on www.facebook.com/themo

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