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Manchester ramps up vector control activities

Published:Sunday | March 27, 2016 | 3:41 PMTamara Bailey

MANDEVILLE, Manchester:

With the resurgence of the Chik-V, dengue fever, H1N1 viruses, and the introduction of the Zika virus into the country, local health officials have increased their efforts to destroy mosquito-breeding sites and stem the spread of the viruses.

Speaking at the Manchester Local Board of Health meeting last Thursday at the parish council, Chief Public Health Inspector for the parish, Charmaine Palmer-Cross said that the initiative has been successful to date.

"We have covered most of Manchester and that actually gives us information on what exists. Our focus was mainly in high-risk communities, and persons were welcoming. We were in the schools and churches on Saturdays and Sundays," Palmer-Cross said.

She added: "Of interest though, the Aedes aegypti mosquito is domesticated and would be generally found, in the home, but we found in one particular church in the baptismal pool, a flurry of mosquitoes. the pastor and members were wondering where they were coming from as the pool was properly sealed, but with our level of expertise, we are able to find it," she noted.

In a bid to remain proactive, the health inspector and officials have embarked on a project in tandem with the Ministry of Health dubbed 'Search and Destroy'.

"We have now received the chemical that is used to treat the water which we have now in the island and in Manchester. As it regards Zika virus, we are continuing with our heightened intervention," explained Palmer-Cross.