Dr. Asin talks Zika at St. Maarten Fire DepartmentPOSTED: 04/8/16 1:52 PM
Dr. Asin explains the ins and outs of the zika virus to Prime Minister William Marlin and members of the fire department and the disaster management team. Photo contributed
St. Maarten News – With no treatment or vaccine available, it should be a priority to prevent the zika virus from becoming an epidemic on our island.
The head of Collective Prevention Services(CPS) section General Public Health, Dr. Virginia Asin gave a presentation about the Zika virus on Friday at the Fire Department in the presence of Prime Minister William Marlin, representatives of the Vromi-ministry, and members of the office of disaster management team.
Dr. Asin said that the Zika virus is a virus transmitted by the Aedes aegypti mosquito that also transmits Dengue, and Chikungunya. Because the virus is transmitted by mosquitoes, Dr. Asin outlined the importance of preventing and eliminating mosquito breeding sites.
She also outlined the symptoms of the virus which can include fever, rash, headache, and body aches.
Because of Zika’s potential link to medical complications, the ministry is busy looking into the best and most effective approach to get rid of the mosquitos.
Other than fogging, the Public Health Ministry is currently busy with a trial of the mosquito Trap N-Kill system, a lethal ovitrap system. This reusable mosquito trap attracts mosquitos to lay their eggs, but after entering the trap they will be killed by the insecticide.
500 Of the lethal trap systems were placed in the Fort Willem area a few weeks ago. The ministry expects the results of the system in about two weeks.
The most important action to take is to help prevent and eradicate mosquito breeding sites as a community effort. Eliminating breeding sites, especially around homes lowers the risk of being bitten by mosquitos. Some examples of breeding places are: discarded tires, bottles, garbage cans, and buckets that are left outside and filled with rain water. The elimination of mosquito breeding places has been most effective, Dr. Asin said.