PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten -The Collective Prevention Services a department within the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour is encouraging the public to inspect premises around their homes and businesses for standing water where mosquitoes may breed.
The amount of rainfall lately has created conditions around the island that would encourage the proliferation of mosquitoes, particularly the species that breed in containers, such as Aedes.
Debris scattered around the island by the former hurricanes may still be collecting water and breeding this species of mosquitoes. Aedes mosquitoes are known transmitters of dengue fever, Zika, and chikungunya virus.
Mosquito breeding sites should be eliminated, and the public can help by:
- Cleaning up of all debris, especially those that can hold water.
- Disposing loose tires.
- Cleaning pet water dishes regularly.
- Cleaning, emptying, and properly screening or covering containers used to store water.
- Clearing roof gutters of debris.
- Properly disposing of all bottles, cans, buckets, and other containers that can collect water.
- Plugging tree holes.
- Repairing leaky outdoor faucets so not to create standing water.
- Changing the water frequently in flower vases and other containers that routinely contain water, including pet dishes.
The public is also advised to wear light-colored, loose fitting clothing during outdoor activities, as mosquitoes are attracted to dark colors. When practical, wear long-sleeves and pants when going outdoors i.o. to decrease the risk of being bitten by mosquitoes.