Sat | Aug 18, 2018

Clarendon prepares for ZIKV

Published:Monday | December 14, 2015 | 12:00 AMShanique Samuels

Medical officer of Health at the Clarendon Health Department (CHD), Dr Kimberly Scarlett Campbell, is encouraging persons to do their part in trying to mitigate against the mosquito-borne Zika virus.

"The message for the Christmas season is that we need to do some disaster mitigation to try to reduce mosquito breeding in our surroundings," she said.

"The new health minister met with us and advised us there needs to be more accountability at the parish level, as such he also advised us to make preparation for ZIKV because as of last Wednesday it is now in ten countries in the region of the Americas. It's important that we increase our preparedness for the possible introduction of ZIKV into the island."

Dr Scarlett Campbell said at this point the CHD is still in the preparation stage. She told last Thursday's full council meeting that Clarendon is going to be making a pitch to prevent the spread of the virus if it does reach the island, in order to prevent a repeat of the chikungunya (Chik-V) situation.

She added that Health Minister Horace Dalley has pledged to give approximately 100 temporary vector control workers to the parish to help with clean-up activities in getting rid of the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which is responsible for spreading ZIKV.




Scarlett Campbell said, "Based on the latest information we have received on the virus from PAHO (Pan American Health Organisation), it has been associated with 19 deaths and 1,761 cases of affected babies. It has been a good year for public health in Clarendon, all our indices are down for communicable diseases such as dengue and leptospirosis. I commend the council for sending out the messages and being proactive by encouraging their constituents to clean up their environment. The efforts made by the parish council have played out in our statistics."

She continued, "The only challenge we had this year was with the hand-foot-and-mouth disease. The country had a challenge and so we are still having some challenges with it. We had 106 cases of the disease at the CHD and so the public education campaign continues to sensitise persons how to handle the disease."