GREAT BAY(DCOMM):--- The Collective Preventive Services (CPS), a government department under the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour, met with officials from Port St. Maarten regarding the collaboration in the preparations of response for the mosquito-borne Zika virus disease. At the moment for Sint Maarten, no confirmed cases have been reported.
The results of the meeting entails that Port St. Maarten will enhance its mosquito prevention/elimination measures on a weekly basis; will look into the possibility of investing in a hand-held fogger; to explore further a contribution to the community in helping with a district prevention campaign; provision of information/education display for staff, third party employees, cruise passengers and crew.
The need for collaboration with the cargo companies was also discussed as to prevent the importation of mosquitoes in containers and vehicle tires and other items that are destined for the island, as well as mega yacht agents on the island with respect to proactive preventive measures and the elimination of mosquito breeding.
Port St. Maarten was represented by: R. Levenstone, H. Peters, B. Ortega, and B. Peters, while CPS was represented by L. Francisca, M. Henry and Dr. V. Asin.
CPS is once again appealing to the community to step up proactive measures to eliminate mosquito breeding sites in and around their homes and businesses.
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.
Actively destroy or dispose of tin cans, old tires, buckets, unused plastic swimming pools or other containers that collect and hold water. Do not allow water to accumulate in the saucers of flowerpots, cemetery urns/vase or in pet dishes for more than two days. Throw out the water and turn them over every time it collects water.
Check around construction sites or do-it-yourself improvements to ensure that proper backfilling and grading is realized to prevent drainage problems which can be a source for standing water. Empty all construction containers such as blue tanks, buckets, paint cans etc.
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.
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.