Chief Public Health Inspector for St. Elizabeth, Everod Lewis, says the parish’s Aedes index has been reduced to 10 per cent as activities intensify to eradicate the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which transmits the dengue virus.
The lowering of the Aedes index means that the number of breeding sites found in relation to the number of premises inspected has declined.
“Our Aedes index, presently, is at 10 per cent, which is good. We have been having rains [but] we have been addressing all the areas necessary to maintain a low Aedes index,” he said.
Mr. Lewis, who was addressing the virtual monthly meeting of the St. Elizabeth Municipal Corporation on September 10, attributed the decline in the Aedex index to the work of the parish’s vector control team, comprising 22 permanent staff and 100 temporary workers.
He said that between July 21 and August 20, the team visited more than 12,000 premises within 73 localities, with 1,312 premises testing positive for mosquito breeding sites.
He noted that fogging was carried out in Malvern, Burnt Savanna, Myersville, Lacovia, Brompton, Balaclava and Shrewsbury, among other communities.
Mr. Lewis said with the recent heavy rains, the health department is anticipating a rise in complaints about the mosquito population.
“We will be doing the necessary work right across the parish to see how best we can contain the situation. We are hoping that the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA) will be onboard to help us as it relates to the removal of garbage right across the parish,” he said.