A targeted fogging campaign is being conducted by the Environmental Health division to curb the spread of dengue.
According to a release from the Government Information Unit, while COVID-19 concerns demands local attention; another dengue is proving challenging for Montserrat.
The Ministry of Health and Social Services (MoHSS) said an outbreak of dengue emerged on island in October 2019 and five months later, it is still proving difficult to contain. To date there have been 143 cases and one death.
Dengue is a potentially fatal viral disease that is spread from person to person via the bite of an infected Aedes aegypti mosquito.
Since the first case was identified on island, a number of measures have been employed by the Environmental Health Department to eliminate the Dengue vector and its breeding sites.
Principal Environmental Health Officer, Garrett Stanley explained that, “Apart from our routine inspections and eradication programme which we would have intensified. The Vector Control Team has conducted island wide fogging, instituted a number of public sensitization programmes and started a drum programme; whereby the drums of residents who collect water for farming and other purposes are mosquito-proofed free of charge.”
These measures were showing success with weekly cases dropping from as high as 13 to 3. However, the number of cases are once again on the increase; reaching to as many as 10 cases per week in the past month.
The Vector Control Team also noted that home inspections are revealing multiple breeding sites at many residences.
The Ministry is therefore cautioning residents not to become complacent in their efforts to eradicate their surroundings of mosquito breeding sites.
Members of the public are reminded that the Aedes Aegypti mosquitoes breeds in any standing or stagnant water. Home and yard inspections, should therefore be conducted at least three times per week to ensure that your yard and living space is free of mosquito breeding sites. Common breeding sites include buckets and drums, vases, dish drainers, pet bowls and even some plants and guttering.
In addition to this, protect yourself from bites by installing screens on your windows and door, wear appropriate clothing and use insect repellents on exposed skin.
The Environmental Health Department is now implementing targeted fogging in key areas across the island and remains available to assist residents with inspections, mosquito-proofing of water collection drums and providing other aids to person who must collect water for agriculture and other purposes.
To access the services of the Environmental Health Department the public is advised to call 491-6057.