Hanover under mosquito attack
The Hanover Health Department is closely monitoring communities such as Cacoon Castle, Rock Spring and Woodsville in the western parish, after it was discovered that the districts have a very high prevalence of the aedes aegypti mosquito.
In a report tabled at the general meeting of the Hanover Municipal Corporation last week, it was pointed out that some 548 premises across those three districts were found to be breeding grounds for the vector. This represents approximately 17 per cent of the 3,062 premises inspected across the parish over the period.
In an interview with the Gleaner following the meeting, Fritz Francis, the acting deputy chief public health inspector for Hanover, explained that a common factor in those areas is that people have to be storing water for use, because of either irregular piped water supply or the non-existence of piped water.
"The major culprits are the 45- to 55-gallon drums, where the presence of the mosquito was detected, and, in some communities, small pools of water," said Francis.
Francis added that the health department has to be treating the mosquito nuisance in what he described as "high-risk" areas, through physical, chemical and biological means, dependent on the level of prevalence.
"In some cases, we have to turn over the drum of water and instruct the residents how to clean and treat it before refilling. And in some cases, we just treat it for them," said Francis.
The health official also stated that his department is giving health education talks in schools and in the communities, wherein instructions are given as to how to treat the drums with the stored water, among other preventative measures.
The aedes aegypti mosquito is known to be a carrier of the dengue, chikungunya and zika viruses, which can all trigger significant health challenges.