Acting Health Commissioner Darice Plaskett reminds residents that increased rains during the Hurricane Season, from June through November 30, 2012, could provide breeding opportunities for mosquitoes, hence putting residents at risk for Dengue Fever.
“Heavy rains bring with it the added risk of an increase in stagnant water, thus, old tires and any receptacle that can collect water should be emptied as frequently as possible as they provide breeding havens for mosquitoes,” Plaskett said.
Plaskett also reminds healthcare providers that Dengue Fever is reportable by law and urges completion of the VI Notifiable Disease Form for submission via confidential fax at 718-1508. The
VI Notifiable Disease Form can be found at www.health.vi.org under
Dr. Thomas Morris, who was recently hired as the department’s epidemiologist, said to date the department has not been notified of any suspected cases in the territory.
While there is no cure for Dengue, the reports are essential for monitoring purposes and alerting the public so that Dengue Fever incidents do not become widespread, Dr. Morris said.
Residents should be vigilant and spray dark areas such as closets to kill off these mosquitoes as the Aedes Aegypti mosquito which transmits Dengue lives in the home. They should also follow these other tips:
- Keep tires in a dry place. Punch holes in them to make sure water drains out.
- Put plants that are currently in water, into soil. Empty flowerpot bases weekly.
- Cover or turn food containers for animals and buckets that hold water upside down.
- Repair or replace damaged screens; keep windows and doors without screens closed;
- Place a screen or mesh over the overflow pipe of cisterns.
- Cover infant cribs with mosquito netting
- Use mosquito repellants containing DEET. Follow instructions carefully and use on arms, legs, ankles and nape of neck. Avoid applying to children under 2 years old and to the hands of older children.
Learn more at HealthVI.org/dengue