BASSETERRE, St. Kitts — As there has been an increase in rainfall, there has been an upsurge in mosquitoes, according to Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Hazel Laws, noting that everyone can help to decrease the mosquito population that spreads diseases such as Dengue.
Dr. Laws made this statement during her Health Emergency Operation Center (HEOC) Situation Report at the National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC) Press Briefing on August 5. She said that as the nation is already facing the COVID-19 Pandemic, it is important to prevent a Dengue outbreak.
“We need to be very aware of the need to prevent Dengue,” said Dr. Laws. “We are already in a COVID-19 Pandemic; it’s unprecedented and we really do not want to add a Dengue outbreak to that.”
Dr. Laws said the season with the highest incidences of Dengue has begun. She explained that Dengue is caused by a virus that is spread through the bite of the infected Aedes Aegypti mosquito.
“Mosquitoes that usually spread Dengue bite during the day and night,” explained Dr. Laws. “These mosquitos spread other diseases including Chikungunya and Zika Virus. Everyone needs to protect babies and children by making sure they are properly attired.
“Your responsibility as parents is to protect them from the mosquito,” she said. “We also have a responsibility to stop mosquitos from laying eggs in and near water around and in our household setting. So we need to be wise and diligent in removing standing water where mosquitos could lay eggs.”
She recommended that at least once per week, everyone should carefully empty and scrub all containers that hold water. She noted other measures persons can take to prevent mosquitoes from breeding.
“You need to get rid of your tires, buckets, platters and toys,” said Dr. Laws. “Be mindful and take care of your pools, birdbaths, flowerpots and trash containers.
“Use screens on your windows and doors and repair holes in screens,” she said. “You can use regular insect sprays to control the mosquitoes. Use an indoor insect fogger or indoor insect spray to kill mosquitoes.”