Chief Public Health Inspector for Westmoreland, Steve Morris, says vector-control measures continue in the parish in order to stem the spread of dengue fever.
This is even while notifications of the disease, as well as the Aedes index in the parish, have decreased, with the index currently at 6.3 per cent.
“We are still in the dengue outbreak and the [public health department] has not let up; we continue to do our [mosquito control] programmes,” Mr. Morris said in a recent interview with JIS News.
“In fact, we continue to do our weekly dengue briefings to ensure that we are on top of things. This is a serious disease; we have seen it take lives and we are trying to ensure that we keep it under control,” he added.
Mr. Morris said that vector-control workers continue to educate residents about dengue, and have been distributing mesh coverings for water storage containers to prevent mosquito breeding.
He noted that fogging activities have been ramped up and are being done on weekends.
Meanwhile, Mr. Morris is advising persons to take extra precautions when storing water, as containers could become breeding sites.
He said, “It is a myth to think that mosquito larvae must be in the water containers for it to be deemed safe, and we have to get away from that.”
Other preventive measures include installing mosquito nets over beds, wearing long-sleeve shirts and pants outdoors, using mosquito repellant containing DEET, and regularly changing water in animal and pet containers.
The Aedes aegypti mosquito is responsible for the spread of the dengue fever, Zika and chikungunya viruses.
Symptoms of dengue include sudden onset of high fever with severe headache, fatigue, pain behind the eyes, muscle, bone or joint pain, skin rash and vomiting or feeling nauseous.