Residents of the island are asked to get involved and help in getting rid of the breeding areas where mosquitoes can breed. In addition to welcome rain for the cisterns on the island, the recent rains have also brought an increase in the mosquito population. According to the Head of the Department of Vector Control Randall Johnson, this increase in population is because mosquito eggs can survive without water for up to a year until there is sufficient water for the mosquito larvae to survive.
Currently the Department has stepped up its regular controls in the villages and will be using personnel from other departments in government too so that the entire island can be surveyed in the next two weeks. Residents are asked to ensure that there are no containers around their home where standing water can accumulate.
There are currently no cases of Dengue or Chikungunya on the island and medical officials say that they would like to keep it that way. Reducing the number of mosquitoes on the island is critical to achieving this.
Over the next few weeks there will also be a campaign “Say No the Mosquito” to educate residents about what they can do to reduce the areas around their homes where mosquitos can breed. Flyers will be distributed throughout the island as well as in the schools.
To reduce the likelihood of getting bitten by a mosquito, insect repellant containing DEET should be applied to skin when going outdoors, wear clothes that limit skin exposure and use a mosquito net treated with insecticide whenever in bed. Other repellants like candles and coils can be used outside to prevent mosquitoes from entering the home.
Medical officials strongly urge people with symptoms that are consistent with dengue or Chikungunya (fever, aches in the joints and/or rash) to see a doctor and mention their travel history.
Press release GIS Saba