Via the Jamaica Observer: Reduce mosquito breeding sites to avoid chikungunya, Ministry urges.
KINGSTON, Jamaica – As chikungunya slowly spreads in the Caribbean, health officials are again urging Jamaicans to search for and destroy mosquito breeding sites.
The ministry of health in a release Saturday (June 14) said that an increase in the mosquito population is expected due to the recent rains which followed a period of prolonged drought.
More mosquitoes could raise the possibility of the spread of vector borne diseases such as dengue, which is endemic to Jamaica and chikungunya, which has been detected in other Caribbean islands, Dr Marion Bullock DuCasse Director, Emergency, Disaster Management and Special Services in the Ministry of Health said.
Dengue and chikungunya are only transmitted through the bite of an infected Aedes aegypti mosquito which is generally found in and around places where people live, Dr DuCasse explained, adding that individuals should therefore ensure that there are no opportunities for mosquitoes to breed in their surroundings.
“We’re asking everyone in households, schools, businesses, places of worship and other places where people gather to look for and destroy mosquito breeding sites. This is important for the reduction of the mosquito population, which in turn can stem the spread of vector-borne diseases,” Dr DuCasse said.
Water containers should be kept tightly covered. Vases should be cleaned frequently or filled with soil or sand. Old tyres should be filled with dirt, Dr DuCasse advised.
“Individuals are also advised to punch holes into cans before disposing of them. Drums and water tanks, which have been found to be the main breeding sites for mosquitoes, should be properly covered.”
To date, no cases of chikungunya have been identified in Jamaica.