The Virgin Islands community
is being urged to continue their efforts to reduce mosquito breeding to prevent
outbreaks of Dengue Fever, Chikungunya Virus and the new Zika Virus, which are
all spread by the Aedes aegypti mosquito.
Medical Officer, Dr. Ronald
Georges said the Zika Virus has spread from Africa to the Americas and was
identified in Brazil in April, 2015. He added that one case was confirmed in
the Dominican Republic earlier this month and there is a concern for possible spread to the Territory.
Dr. Georges said common
symptoms of infection with the Zika virus include mild headaches, skin rash,
tiredness, red eyes, and joint muscle and back pains. According to Dr. Georges, there is no
preventative treatment or vaccines for any of the mosquito borne illnesses,
other than rest, hydration, and anti-inflammatory medication.
Health Officer, Mr. Carnel Smith stated that even though the Territory has only
been experiencing intermittent rainfall, during the dry spell, mosquitoes
would have deposited their eggs in dry containers which would become breeding
sites when flooded with water.
Mr. Smith said, “We are asking
the community for their assistance in reducing our risk of future outbreaks of
Dengue, Chikungunya and possibly the Zika Virus, by remaining vigilant by
inspecting premises for mosquito breeding sites.”
Persons, who need assistance
in eliminating mosquito sources from around their premises, should contact
the Environmental Health Division at 468-5110.
The public is reminded that
general clean-up should include the removal of all water holding receptacles,
such as old tires, discarded buckets, pots or pet feeding dishes, abandoned and
derelict boats and vehicles or anything that can hold water. Water
tanks, wells, buckets and boats need to be properly covered as these are
potential breeding sites.
The Environmental Health
Division is committed to ensuring that all aspects of the environment with the
potential to negatively impact health are managed efficiently to enable all
persons in the BVI to attain and maintain optimal health and social well-being.