PHILIPSBURG (DCOMM):--- Due to the passing of a frontal boundary system that is causing an abundance of moisture and instability, the Collective Prevention Services (CPS) is urgently calling on residents to take and continue the necessary actions after every rainfall event in eliminating mosquito breeding sites to effectively minimize mosquito-borne diseases, such as dengue.
Dengue can become a life-threatening illness and it is crucial for everyone to be aware of the symptoms and take the necessary precautions to prevent further mosquito breeding, and transmission of mosquito-borne diseases.
People become infected with dengue virus when an infected Aedes Aegyptus or Aedes albopictus mosquito feeds or bites them. Usually between four to seven (4-7) days after a bite of an infected mosquito people typically begin to show symptoms.
Persons with a fever and two or more of the following symptoms are suspected dengue cases and should be tested for confirmation: Nausea/vomiting; Rash; Myalgia/arthralgia (muscle/joint pain); Headache, retro-orbital pain (pain behind the eyes); and Petechiae (red/purple spots on skin); Leukopenia (decrease in number of white blood cells).
CPS reiterates that if parents observe young children presenting the following symptoms of diarrhea or vomiting, they should be extra vigilant for these potential symptoms and consult with their general practitioner as it could be the signs of dengue.
Source reduction is the key to decreasing the mosquito population. Due to the tropical nature of our climate, breeding habitats are in abundance, and many of them are unfortunately man-made.
Mosquitoes can breed in as little as a half-inch of water. This is not much, and plant saucers, bottle caps, or plastic shopping bags hidden amongst vegetation/shrubs are some of those unassuming places that can gather a small amount and can still be a huge breeding site for your backyard mosquito.
Breeding sites include anywhere that water can settle or remain stagnant for a certain time undisturbed from garbage to your flowers/plants. This includes tin cans, old tires, empty paint cans, buckets, old saucers, flowerpots, cemetery urns/vases, old pet dishes, unused plastic swimming pools, boats on dry dock, used food containers, plastic drinking cups; plastic shopping bags or other containers or plants that collect and hold water.
Source reduction starts by covering, removing, or turning over containers, artificial artifacts, and unused boats which can be potential breeding sites, and properly maintaining the yard and surroundings by trimming overgrown vegetation.
A few tips/reminders: Get rid of any unused pots or bins or turn them upside down, so they don’t collect water; Keep trash and recycling bins covered. If you can, try drilling drain holes into the bottom of them; keep a fine-mesh screen over rain barrels, water tanks, and cistern outlets. Clean your rain spouts regularly so water can flow and not become stagnant, and properly remove or treat old unused tires.
In addition, to eliminating mosquito breeding sites, weekly assess your home and workplace and eliminate the source. Use mosquito repellent to prevent the mosquitoes from feeding, follow the instructions on the product label. Aedes aegypti mosquito is attracted to dark spaces and clothing at dusk and dawn it is recommended to wear light-coloured clothing during those times.
For issues surrounding mosquito breeding sites, contact CPS’ vector control team by calling 520-4161, 542-1222/1570, or 914.