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  • The Ministry of Health (MOH) is encouraging Jamaicans to ensure that their surroundings are free of` mosquito breeding sites.
  • She noted that while thSpeaking at a Jamaica Information Service (JIS) ‘Think Tank’ on January 23, Principal Medical Officer and National Epidemiologist, Ministry of Health, Dr. Karen Webster Kerr, indicated that the recent heavy rains have provided encouraging conditions for mosquito breeding.ere is no current outbreak of dengue fever, with only five reported cases, so far, persons are still urged to take the necessary precaution to keep themselves safe from the illness, as well as chik-v and Zika.
  • “The last outbreak of dengue we had was a small one in 2016. We also had a larger one in 2012, but persons must remember that we are endemic to these mosquito-borne illnesses, meaning that the mosquitoes carrying them are still around, even though they may not be present on a wide scale,” explained Dr. Webster Kerr.

The Ministry of Health (MOH) is encouraging Jamaicans to ensure that their surroundings are free of` mosquito breeding sites.

Speaking at a Jamaica Information Service (JIS) ‘Think Tank’ on January 23, Principal Medical Officer and National Epidemiologist, Ministry of Health, Dr. Karen Webster Kerr, indicated that the recent heavy rains have provided encouraging conditions for mosquito breeding.

She noted that while there is no current outbreak of dengue fever, with only five reported cases, so far, persons are still urged to take the necessary precaution to keep themselves safe from the illness, as well as chik-v and Zika.

“The last outbreak of dengue we had was a small one in 2016. We also had a larger one in 2012, but persons must remember that we are endemic to these mosquito-borne illnesses, meaning that the mosquitoes carrying them are still around, even though they may not be present on a wide scale,” explained Dr. Webster Kerr.

It is for this reason, she emphasised, that we must inspect the surroundings regularly to ensure that areas are free from rubble and containers that can collect water.

For her part, Medical Entomologist in the Ministry of Health, Mrs. Sherine Huntley Jones, said that while fogging activities undertaken by the Ministry are helpful in eradicating adult mosquitoes, the larvae will still remain behind.

“It is, therefore, important that we do our cleaning and clearing on a community level and build a partnership to create a mosquito-free environment,” Mrs. Huntley Jones stressed.

She added that the Ministry will continue to implement strategies to assist in the mosquito-eradication process, one of which is the introduction of temporary workers who were trained in 2016.

These workers, referred to as vector-control aides, assist the Ministry in its surveillance and implementation of their various vector-control programmes.

“This is a project that will continue on an annual basis, and these workers are brought in based on information from epidemiological data and the cycle of disease transmission, in an effort to assist with monitoring and control,” said Mrs. Huntley Jones.

She pointed out that vital work is currently being undertaken by the recently launched Mosquito Control and Research Unit, which is a joint venture of the MOH and the University of the West Indies (UWI).

“Two of the key things being looked at by the Unit are insecticidal resistance in mosquitoes to ensure that eradication measures are most effective. Also being looked at is the Sterile Insect Technique as a means of significantly decreasing the mosquito population, more specifically the Aedes aegypti mosquito,” Mrs. Huntley Jones noted.