Basseterre, St. Kitts (SKNIS): St. Kitts and Nevis’ Chief Medical Officer Dr. Hazel Laws has called on residents to be vigilant in eliminating any possible sources of water that can facilitate mosquito breeding.
The call is made even more urgent at this time given that several neighbouring islands have reported rising cases of dengue fever among the population. Some have recorded multiple fatalities from the tropical disease.
“We have a very robust [vector control] programme and we have done well in terms of staving off a dengue outbreak last year,” Dr. Laws stated at the National Emergency Operations Centre COVID-19 Briefing on Wednesday (January 20, 2021). “When a number of neighbouring islands had outbreaks, we were free of [dengue], even at present. Our borders have been opened since October 31, 2020, and we have not had any dengue cases.”
She indicated that vector control officers employed by the government will remain active in communities throughout the Federation. They continue to ensure that potential breeding areas are identified and eliminated.
“The responsibility is on each and every one of us,” Dr. Laws added. “It’s not the Ministry of Health alone really. We all have a responsibility to walk around our houses on the inside, our verandas, porches, our space. Make sure there aren’t any containers with water that are breeding mosquitoes. You need to empty all of those containers. Make sure that they are clean etc … and just that action alone would prevent an outbreak here in the Federation.”
Mosquitoes lay their eggs directly into stagnant water or near bodies of water. Common items around the household and workplace that can facilitate mosquito breeding include plastic containers, vases, flowerpot plates, buckets, uncovered garbage bins, drums/barrels, and car tyres.