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Health ministry develops drum covers to guard against mosquitoes

Published:Friday | June 12, 2015 | 10:13 AM
A St Mary woman covers a drum with a makeshift cover. The South East Regional Health Authority has developed a cover which will allow for the catchment of water, but will not allow mosquitoes to enter or exit the container.

The Ministry of Health says it has developed a cover for the drums used by Jamaicans to store water as it seeks to minimise mosquito breeding sites amid the threat of the Zika Virus.

Medical Entomologist in the Ministry of Health, Sherine Huntley-Jones, explains that the public health team has noticed that the 45-55 gallon drum is the main breeding habitat for the Aedes Aegypti Mosquito, which carries the virus.

She reportedly told a JIS ‘Think Tank’ that the cover, which was developed by the South East Regional Health Authority public health team, will allow for the catchment of water, but will not allow mosquitoes to enter or exit the container.

She explains that the cover is made of mosquito netting and resembles a large hair net, bordered with elastic to fit over drums of varying sizes. 

She says the drum cover is to be distributed to Jamaicans to assist with reducing the breeding of the vector, which is also responsible for the transmission of Dengue and Chikungunya viruses.

Huntley-Jones points out that the cover, which was developed by the South East Regional Health Authority public health team, will allow for the catchment of water, but will not allow mosquitoes to enter or exit the container.

There is no reported case of the Zika virus in Jamaica but the health ministry says its officials are closely following one suspected case in the Dominican Republic.