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Clarendonians worried about ZIKV threat

Published:Thursday | May 21, 2015 | 12:00 AMShanique Samuels

Fresh concerns are mounting in Clarendon as news of anot-her mosquito-borne disease, the zika virus, threatens Jamaica.

With the remnants of the not so distant chikungunya virus (chik-V) still evident in their bodies, some persons said they were concerned about the effects this new virus might have on them.

Venecia Smith, a resident of Race Track, said she wanted to know if and what the government and public health authorities would be doing to prevent the virus from reaching epidemic proportions should it reach Jamaican shores.

"Are they going to wait until people start catching the virus before they start reinforcing the best practices that were advertised when we had the chik-V?" she asked, noting that she still felt joint pains from chik-V and was somewhat worried about the effect it might have on her body if she caught this one.

In the meantime, most of the drains that were cleaned last year remain in good condition and do not appear to be mosquito breeding sites.

Chairman of the Clarendon Parish Council Scean Barnswell said the council's clean-up machinery is up and running.

"Coming out of the chik-V programme, the clean-up team is carrying out maintenance work in some communities, and they are working with persons to ensure possible mosquito breeding sites are destroyed," he said.

He said that although the island was merely being put on alert, the council was taking the necessary precautions in preparation for a possible outbreak.