In the wake of recent information from the Ministry of Health that 10 cases of Dengue fever had been confirmed in Antigua and Barbuda, the Central Board of Health (CBH) has launched a robust public awareness campaign geared toward reducing mosquito infestation.
During a news conference last week, Chief Health Inspector Sharon Martin stated that inspectors will be visiting each household to determine whether property owners are taking the necessary steps to reduce the spread of the Aedes Aegypti mosquito. CBH’s Facebook page has also come alive with several short videos encouraging householders to apply precautionary measures that should be taken around the home to avoid being bitten.
A weekly fogging schedule was also released to educate residents on when fogging will be carried out in their respective communities. The government agency is also urging residents to take all necessary or recommended actions to eliminate potential breeding sites in and around their homes, in order to protect themselves from diseases associated with the mosquito.
CBH said the most effective mosquito control technique is source reduction, which can be achieved by elimination of potential breeding sites, by proper disposal of unwanted items that can hold [stagnant] water, covering all water catchments, changing water in vases every 2-3 days, making sure to drain the water from dish drainers, cleaning all guttering of debris/leaves, and using mosquito nets while sleeping – especially for babies and children.
Dengue fever is a mosquito-borne tropical disease caused by the Dengue virus. Symptoms typically begin three to 14 days after infection. These may include high fever, headache, vomiting, muscle and joint pains, and a characteristic skin rash.