RESIDENTS URGED TO TAKE PREVENTATIVE STEPS TO COMBAT DENGUE
Friday December 12, 2008
The Environmental Health Division (EHD) is urging the public to take preventative steps to combat the Aedes aegypti mosquito and reduce the spread of dengue fever in the Territory.
Vector Control Programme Manager Mr. Minchington Israel explained that dengue fever is a flu-like illness that is transmitted by the bite of an infected female Aedes aegypti mosquito, which breeds in clear or clean standing water in and around the home.
Mr. Israel advises that certain preventative measures can be taken to eliminate the mosquito and its breeding sites.
He also recommends that flower vases and flower pots with saucers filled with water should be emptied and saucers wiped clean weekly since they are good breeding ground for mosquito larvae. .
He also recommends that wet flower pots be replaced with dirt or alternatively, gravel or ornamental stones may be used with the water level below the stones.
Additionally cisterns should be sealed with concrete and downspouts covered with mosquito netting, cloth, plastic or another suitable cover. Buckets, pails and other such containers used to store water indoors should be kept tightly covered to prevent the breeding of mosquitoes.
Mr. Israel recommends that items such as old tyres should be disposed of at the incinerator plant, punctured or secured under shelter to prevent the collection of water.
He further suggests that any other items such as discarded laundry tanks, sinks, face basins, buckets, toilet bowls, bottles, tin cans, shoes and toys that can collect water, and become potential breeding sites, should be also properly disposed of at the incinerator plant, turned over or secured under shelter.
The Vector Control Unit also recommends that pet owners wash their pet dishes with a rag or a sponge weekly to destroy mosquito eggs.
Furthermore, the unit advocates that roof guttering should also be cleaned weekly to ensure that dirt and leaves do not trap rain water and allow mosquitoes to breed.
All gardening equipment such as watering pans, shovels and wheelbarrows should also be secured under shelter or turned over to prevent the collection of water.
Dengue cannot be transmitted from person to person and the Vector Control Unit is encouraging all residents to take the recommended measures to prevent the breeding of mosquitoes and the potential spread of the disease.
The classic signs and symptoms of dengue include a very high fever, an intense frontal headache, pain behind the eyes or retro-orbital pain as well as muscle and joint pains.
Infected persons may develop a rash and if this occurs, they are advised to seek immediate medical attention.
The Environmental Health Division functions as part of the Ministry of Health and Social Development which endeavours to provide leadership in the promotion of health, social wellness and a safe environment as positive resources for maintaining healthy lifestyles