Regional Vector Control Officer, Western Regional Health Authority (WRHA), Ryan Morris, is urging continued vigilance by residents in searching for and destroying mosquito-breeding sites, in light of the increased rainfall affecting western parishes.
Speaking in an interview with JIS News, he noted that the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which transmits dengue fever, chikungunya and Zika, primarily breeds in clean water, which settles in containers around places inhabited by humans.
“I suggest that persons…at least once per week, check your premises for mosquitoes and drain (flowerpots), check gutters, and remove old appliances because they will hold water for mosquitoes to breed,” he noted.
He said that special attention should be paid to overgrown vegetation, where mosquitoes hide.
Mr. Morris further urged residents to support the vector control activities by allowing workers to safely access their premises to carry out their duties.
“I beg you… cooperate with the vector control team and …help them to search and destroy because no one knows your premises as you do,” he said.
The Regional Vector Control Officer also provided tips on ways to avoid getting bitten by mosquitoes.
“We want you to observe the active biting time for these mosquitoes – dusk and dawn – and ensure your premises is closed up before those particular times,” he said, noting that mosquitoes tend to be more aggressive at dusk.
He further advised that persons should wear light-coloured clothes, use a repellant containing DEET, and where possible, install a mesh screen over the windows.
Mr. Morris said that the WHRA will continue its “aggressive, sustained vector control efforts” in order to control the mosquito population in communities across the health region.
“Dengue and COVID-19 are most definitely not a good mix, so the WRHA is doing the best that it can in supporting the control of the mosquito population. The larvicidal approach has been intensified, meaning search and destroy, and fogging activities have increased both morning and evening in some parishes,” he indicated.
The WRHA has oversight for the parishes of St. James, Westmoreland, Hanover and Trelawny.