Mosquito elimination program off to a good start

POSTED: 08/30/16 8:49 AM

St.maarten – Minister Emil Lee’s (Public Health) national mosquito elimination community program in the fight against the Zika-virus kicked off in Saunders Saturday a week ago and CPS program coordinator Gerald Davelaar says he was pleased with the results. Residents in the area were very cooperative with personnel from the ministry and with volunteers who were out in the field.

Approximately 100 premises were visited, of which 51 houses. One in every five houses was found positive with mosquito larvae. The House Index is 18 per cent and the World Health Organization threshold is around two per cent.

Minister of Public Health Emil Lee was also present and shared information while speaking with residents about how to eliminate mosquito breeding sites.

The community program calls for a close collaboration with the people and entails house to house visits with one-on-one education on elimination of mosquito breeding sites in and around the house.

The program also includes inspection of the surroundings of the house by vector controllers; assessment of the findings; set-up and monitoring of traps to study mosquito behavior and larvae development, and if needed targeted fogging of identified locations.

Volunteers from various government entities have been mobilized to assist with this community program.

The ultimate purpose is to minimize the occurrence of the zika-virus by eliminating mosquito breeding sites with a special focus on the elimination of the Aedes Aegypty mosquito.

CPS urges residents and visitors to wear light colored clothing at dusk; long sleeve shirts and pants; and use mosquito repellent to prevent being bitten by a mosquito that could possibly be carrying a mosquito borne disease.

CPS re-enforces its message that all residents and businesses need to take proactive measures to prevent mosquitos from breeding. Be on the alert for mosquito breeding sites and eliminate, especially after heavy rainfall.

Actively destroy or dispose of tin cans, old tires, buckets, unused plastic swimming pools or other containers that collect and hold water. Do not allow water to accumulate in the saucers of flowerpots, cemetery urns/vase or in pet dishes for more than two days. Throw out the water and turn them over every time it collects water.

For information about dengue fever, zika and chikungunya prevention measures, call CPS at 542 20 78 or 542 30 03; to report mosquito breeding sites email to surveillance

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