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Story Highlights

  • The St. James Public Health Department has made strides in eliminating mosquito breeding sites across the parish, in order to reduce transmission of the dengue virus.
  • Deputy Chief Public Health Inspector, Sherika Lewis, said that approximately 55 workers have been engaged to strengthen vector control activities.
  • She noted that the efforts of workers have led to over 11,039 premises being inspected for the month of February.

The St. James Public Health Department has made strides in eliminating mosquito breeding sites across the parish, in order to reduce transmission of the dengue virus.

Deputy Chief Public Health Inspector, Sherika Lewis, said that approximately 55 workers have been engaged to strengthen vector control activities.

She noted that the efforts of workers have led to over 11,039 premises being inspected for the month of February.

“This programme has been very effective in the reduction of mosquito breeding in the parish, where we are coming from an Aedes index of 33 per cent to 19 per cent at this time,” she pointed out.

The Aedes index refers to the number of premises that have tested positive for mosquito breeding.

“We have also commissioned two extra buses to transport these workers, so our reach is very extensive across the parish, and we have been getting rave reviews on the programme thus far,” Ms. Lewis added.

She was addressing the monthly meeting of the St. James Municipal Corporation in Montego Bay on Thursday (March 14).

Mayor of Montego Bay, Councillor Homer Davis, for his part, lauded the work of the vector control workers and the St. James Public Health Department.

He noted that the Ministry of Local Government and Community Development, has made $8.5 million available to councillors, which amounts to $500,000 each, to assist with vector control in their divisions.

He encouraged the councillors to liaise with the Health Department “because they could assist you in identifying (mosquito breeding) locations in your respective divisions. They could also assist you in getting the materials in terms of what is required as well as flyers to sensitise citizens”.

Dengue fever is a mosquito-borne tropical disease that is transmitted by the bite of an infected female Aedes aegypti mosquito.

Symptoms of dengue typically begin three to 14 days after infection. This may include high fever, headache, vomiting, muscle and joint pains, and a skin rash. Symptoms usually last two to seven days.