Jamaicans Urged to Practise Proper Vector-Control Measures

Photo: Rudranath Fraser Chief Medical Officer in the Ministry of Health, Dr. Winston De La Haye, speaking at a Jamaica Information Service (JIS) ‘Think Tank’ on January 4.

Story Highlights

  • The Ministry of Health is urging members of the public to practise proper vector-control measures to safeguard against the threat of Malaria.
  • At the beginning of 2017, Jamaican health authorities identified two imported cases of Malaria.
  • Persons are advised to apply mosquito repellent that contains DEET; wear long sleeved, light-coloured clothing; install screens on doors and windows; and to consider sleeping under mosquito nets.

The Ministry of Health is urging members of the public to practise proper vector-control measures to safeguard against the threat of Malaria.

At the beginning of 2017, Jamaican health authorities identified two imported cases of Malaria.

On January 5, one confirmed case was reported by the National Public Health Laboratory. The second, case which was reported by a private laboratory on January 6 is being retested. The result is pending.

Chief Medical Officer (CMO) in the Ministry, Dr. Winston De La Haye, told JIS News that while “there is no cause for alarm at this time,” he is encouraging persons to practise proper vector-control measures and to be cautious.

“We must have our mosquito repellent. That should be a standard practice in Jamaica, in addition to ridding anywhere in and around the home of mosquito breeding sites,” he said.

Persons are advised to apply mosquito repellent that contains DEET; wear long sleeved, light-coloured clothing; install screens on doors and windows; and to consider sleeping under mosquito nets.

They should also cover water-storage drums and clean roof gutters, air conditioning and refrigerator trays and regularly clean dish drainers and flower pots to remove mosquito eggs.

Dr. De La Haye is advising persons to, at least once per week, search for and destroy possible breeding sites and cover drums where drinking water is stored. He is also urging persons to scrub water containers to remove any mosquito larvae and to punch holes in discarded receptacles.

Tyres and 55-gallon water-storage drums have been found to be the major breeding sites for mosquitoes.

Householders are also being encouraged to open windows and doors whenever fogging exercises are taking place in their communities.

The CMO noted that persons who recently travelled to countries where malaria is endemic are questioned by public-health officials as a safety measure.

“It helps to keep us malaria-free and we want to keep it that way,” Dr. De La Haye said.

The disease is spread through the bite of the malaria-infected Anopheles mosquito. Symptoms include fever, chills, headache, sweating, fatigue, nausea and vomiting.

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