Wed | Oct 18, 2017

Don’t place it on the back burner, beg residents

Published:Thursday | May 21, 2015 | 12:00 AMTamara Bailey

While several residents had no idea that a new disease called the zika virus, spread by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, had emerged and is likely to reach Jamaica, others were continuing with the changes they had made during last year's chikungunya outbreak.

"I continue to keep my surroundings clean and dispose of my garbage properly, taking care also to punch holes in containers before disposing of them, but I am hoping the

minister of health will make proper implementations before the virus gets here and that the mistakes made during the chik-V outbreak will not be repeated," said chik-V victim Shudian Lewis.

Sharing her sentiments, Yanique Williams, who also experienced the woes of the chikungunya virus, is hoping this new virus, though not as dangerous, will not create national mayhem.

eliminate breeding sites

"I am very concerned about this new virus. I have eliminated the storage of water in open containers as best as I can, but I do believe that the relevant authorities should not place this on the back burner as they did chik-V," said Williams.

With the Aedes aegypti mosquitoes breeding well in areas where people settle and not necessarily in drains and gullies, regional director of the Southern Regional Health Authority Dr Michael Coombs said efforts made during the chik-V epidemic would be strengthened to eliminate the breeding sites.

"In this region, we will be continuing our efforts. We never really stopped, so it will be a continuation of what was done. Because these mosquitoes breed in areas that are domesticated, we will continue to educate persons on the need for vigilance of proper garbage disposal, water storage, and so on. Our main focus is source reduction and days of fogging, and other forms of vector control can be expected for the future," Coombs told The Gleaner.