With the recent flood rains experienced by the country, the Ministry of Health is advising the public that there will be a significant increase in the mosquito populations.
The major mosquitoes species that will pose a problem at this time are:
- Culex sp
- Ochleratatus sollicitan and O. taeniorchynchus (saltmarsh mosquitoes)
- Psorophora sp.
- Aedes aegypti
According to Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Winston De La Haye, the first three mosquitoes are “severe nuisance mosquitoes which do not transmit diseases in Jamaica.” He added that persons bitten by these mosquitoes may experience major discomfort in affected area. For persons who are allergic to insect bites, these mosquitoes may lead to secondary infection and dermatological issues.
The fourth mosquito is the Aedes aegypti which is the vector mosquito that can transmit the dengue, chikungunya and Zika viruses to persons.
The public is being reminded to take the necessary precautions to reduce and/or eliminate all mosquito breeding sites. Dr. De La Haye advised that “the pools of water that have gathered around our houses and in our communities are prime breeding sites for the nuisance mosquitoes.”
The public is being urged to play its role in draining these water bodies or dumping them up with soil, sand or any similar material that will eliminate the water and prevent more from settling.”
The Chief Medical Officer is also reminding the public that any container within which water settles continues to be a risk for the breeding of Aedes Aegypti mosquitoes and vigilance in searching, identifying and destroying these sites must continue. Personal protection from mosquito bites was highlighted by Dr. De La Haye as critical at this time.
“Repellents are highly recommended especially during the peak biting times of dusk and dawn.” Other protective measures include covering babies with mosquito nets and where possible, put screens on windows and doors,” the CMO advised.