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Targeted mosquito fogging tests scheduled for Friday and Saturday.

GREAT BAY, Sint Maarten (DCOMM) – Testing of targeted fogging as a mosquito vector control measure will commence on Friday afternoon as the Government prepares to step up its anti-mosquito control measures, the Collective Preventive Services (CPS), a government department under the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour, announced on Thursday.

Targeted fogging is a mythology to control the mosquito population by knocking down the adult mosquitoes. The CPS vector control surveillance team will determine the continuation of the targeted fogging based on established indicators eg. High mosquito population and/or suspected cases mosquito-borne disease in a particular area. The targeted fogging approach should not to be associated with an island-wide campaign as in the past.

The targeted test approach will commence at two border crossings. The fogging will take place on Friday from 5.00pm to 7.00pm in Oyster Pond and will cover the areas of Defiance Haven road, Dawn Beach, the French border area and up to Bishop Hill.

The second fogging control measure is scheduled for Saturday, February 6 from 5.00am to 7.00am, and will cover the following areas: French Quarter border area, Belvedere Round-a-bout, Bishop Hill, Defiance Haven road, and Middle Region. The timelines chosen is when mosquito presence is the highest and it is considered the most effective time to carry out fogging.

During the fogging campaign, residents should open doors and windows to give the insecticide maximum penetration in order to incapacitate mosquitoes. Food establishments, medical facilities, should take the appropriate measures to protect their produce and medicines.

Zoo, pet shops, should take measures to protect their animals. Parents and guardians should cover toys from insecticides. Persons with respiratory diseases should take precautions to avoid breathing in the insecticides (chemical) during the fogging.

Fogging is destined to kill adult mosquitoes that mostly are outside. Fogging will not reach behind walls, in corners and in dark places where the female mosquitoes are hiding.

The community is therefore encouraged to primarily remove all receptacles like old cans, tires, and make sure cisterns are inaccessible to mosquitoes. Every member of the community has a role to play in keeping the mosquito population down.

Secondly during the fogging cycle(s) the public can spray inside their home with a commercial home spray (never spray on food, always ventilate sprayed area(s), never spray on toys, never spray on animals or people).

In the event it's too windy or raining the fogging mosquito vector control will not take place and will be rescheduled.

CPS is appealing to the community to step up measures to eliminate mosquito breeding sites in and around homes and businesses. The community has a role to play in eliminating mosquitoes and with everybody playing their role, a successful war on the mosquito can take place. Government cannot do it alone, but with everybody in the community taking measures, the mosquito has no chance to breed.

Dengue fever, zika and chikungunya are transmitted by the female vector Aedes aegypti mosquito. The Aedes aegypti mosquito is distinguished by its markings. The body of the mosquito has alternate black and white horizontal stripes. The Aedes aegypti mosquito lays her eggs in clear (clean) stagnant water. Within eight days the mosquito can complete its life cycle from egg, to larvae to pupae and to adult mosquito.
Mosquitoes can be kept out of the home by keeping windows, doors and porches tightly screened (16-18 mesh). Those insects that do get into structures can be eliminated with a fly swatter or an aerosol space spray containing synergized pyrethrum.
It is very important to screen off cistern outlets, cover and screen septic tanks properly.
The aforementioned measures should also be taken in and around the workplace, social gatherings and living quarters to eliminate mosquito breeding sources.

An increase in the mosquito population puts residents and visitors at risk. For information about dengue fever, zika and chikungunya prevention measures, you can call CPS 542-2078 or 542-3003.

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