December 2, 2020

Public can help with Dengue

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MRCU cleans up area 110213

(Note: Corrected by Ministry of District Administration, Works, Lands & Agriculture on Jan 12 at 9:59am after first publication)

With 27 confirm locally contract cases of Dengue Fever (38 total) the public can help by keeping their respective yards free of standing water.

Premier Hon. Juliana O’Connor Connolly and Minister responsible for Mosquito Research and Control Unit (MRCU) called upon the public to assist in the fight against the spread of dengue.

“Please ensure there is no standing water on your property for the Aedes Aegypti mosquito to breed. This mosquito is the dengue vector and it loves to breed in old tyres and containers in which water settle.  So, please properly dispose of any old tyres and containers in which water may settle,” she stated.

Dr. Allan Wheeler Assistant Director of MRCU explained that this outbreak has resulted from multiple introductions from other countries over a very short period of time. “When dengue-infected person enters the island, it may take several days for them to become ill and visit a doctor. During this time, they may be transmitting dengue locally before they, the hospital or MRCU are aware that there is a problem. In addition to the delay due to the incubation period of the disease, there is also a delay in confirming that a patient actually has dengue. This may take several weeks.”

According to Dr. Wheeler, the MRCU has sufficient chemical and equipment to respond to any mosquito issues as and when they arise. “At the moment, the mosquito population is at low levels and therefore the intensity of both aerial and ground-based control operations has decreased,” he noted.

He also explained the spraying process around the island and especially in the trouble spots. “During the outbreak, MRCU carried out early evening aerial and ground control operations within the known areas of dengue transmission. Work crews were also assigned to survey and treat all yards within the area and in other areas where suspected cases had occurred. Given that the last confirmed case of locally transmitted dengue occurred before 10 December 2012, aerial control operations have now ceased. This has nothing to do with budget constraints and the rationale behind it is that MRCU does not wish to apply chemical without a demonstrated need to do so, in order to prevent the possibility of the mosquito becoming resistant to the chemicals we use.”

MRCU has responded to all mosquito emergencies and outbreaks of dengue in recent years. During the recent outbreak, the majority of suspected cases were not dengue; however, MRCU has to respond to all suspected cases, until they are confirmed as not being dengue.

MRCU offers five strategies for mosquito control, including:

1. TIP. Reduce standing water to eliminate possible mosquito breeding sites, including those in children’s sandboxes, wagons or plastic toys; underneath and around downspouts, in plant saucers and dog bowls. Other hot spots include tarps, gutters, and flat roofs.

2. TOSS. Dispose of trash correctly; bottles, cans and fast food containers provide an excellent breeding ground if thrown in the bush, put them in the trash can or recycle if possible

3. TURN. Turn over larger yard items that could hold water like children’s portable sandboxes, plastic toys or wheelbarrows.

4. REMOVE TARPS. If tarps stretched over firewood piles, boats or sports equipment and grills aren’t taut, they’re holding water.

5. TREAT. Using a regular fly spray around the house will kill adult mosquitoes, for an evening spent outside use a repellant containing ingredients such as DEET and Picaridin and cover up at peak biting times (dawn and dusk).




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