Friday 21 September, 2018

Public reminded to destroy mosquito breeding sites

The Asian tiger mosquito or aedes albopictus was recently discovered in Jamaica.

The Asian tiger mosquito or aedes albopictus was recently discovered in Jamaica.

The Ministry of Health is urging continued public vigilance in dealing with mosquito breeding sites, following the discovery of a new species of the insect in Jamaica.

The Asian tiger mosquito or aedes albopictus, which was recently detected in Jamaica, the ministry noted is similar to the aedes aegypti mosquito and, as such, is able to transmit the dengue, chikungunya and Zika viruses.

It is found breeding in the same habitat as the aegypti: in water-holding containers, such as drums and tyres. The control strategies that are used for the Aedes egypti are the same for the Aedes albopictus, the ministry explained.

The health ministry continued, "As such, Jamaicans must continue their vigilance, in dealing with the breeding sites that were identified for the Aedes aegypti in and around their homes.

"The key is for persons to continue or begin the action of once each week, searching and destroying the breeding sites (water-holding containers) for the mosquitoes," the ministry said.

The heath ministry – under the Mosquito Control and Research Unit, which confirmed the presence of the Aedes albopictus in Jamaica in October 2017 – will continue its own surveillance to determine the spread of this new species.

The Ministry will also shortly launch its annual Enhanced Vector Control Programme for the months of June-October, in an effort to reduce the vector population of arboviruses.

This will see the employment of 1,000 temporary workers, who will be engaged at the community level to disseminate information about the vector populations, as well as to look for and destroy/treat those breeding sites.

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