Health ministry warns of mosquito borne diseases with increased rains
Minister of Health Dr Fenton Ferguson says the recent rainfall has resulted in an increase in the mosquito population and therefore the threat of the spread of chikungunya and dengue fever.
In light of this Ferguson is appealing for persons to search for and destroy mosquito breeding sites around the home, school, church and place of business.
“Dengue fever and chikungunya are transmitted by the Aedes aegypti mosquito which primarily breeds in clean water which settles in containers around places inhabited by humans.
The best way to effectively reduce the spread of these diseases is to prevent the breeding of the Aedes aegypti mosquito which spreads the viruses,” Dr Ferguson explained.
Individuals should get rid of mosquito breeding sites by looking for anything in which water can settle and either cover it, keep the area dry, clean it regularly, fill it with soil or sand, punch holes into it and recycle or properly dispose of it.
If mesh is used to cover containers then the holes should be small enough so that mosquitoes cannot enter.
Ferguson says drums that are used to store water have been found to be the main breeding sites for mosquitoes and so individuals need to pay special attention to these containers.
He added that the Ministry recently distributed specially designed drum covers to the Parish Councils for use in communities as part of its Integrated Vector Management Strategy.
The dengue and chikungunya viruses can only be spread by the bite of an infected Aedes aegypti mosquito.
When the mosquito bites an infected person, it can transmit the virus to others bitten afterwards.
Individuals who wish to obtain more information on dengue fever and the chikungunya virus may call the Ministry of Health or the nearest health centre.
The public is being advised to visit the Ministry of Health website at moh.gov.jm and like and follow them on Facebook: themohgovjm; Twitter: themohgovjm and Instagram: themohgovjm.