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BugOut responds to post-hurricane mosquito threat

Mosquitos breed in settled water. (Google Image)

With the threat of an outbreak of mosquito-borne diseases looming after the September hurricanes, local vector control programme BugOut has responded.

BugOut, which is operating on Virgin Gorda, said it has been engaging communities to prevent mosquito breeding.

“We all lost so much during the hurricanes. But that doesn’t mean we can rest. We’re proud that literally hours after the storm, we were in the communities organizing clean-ups, mobilizing volunteers, educating families and businesses, and generally helping in the recovery effort with a focus on reducing the threat of these mosquito-related [diseases],” said Sally Ann Riley, Project Manager for BugOut.

Operators of BugOut has warned that the threat of vector-borne diseases increases and remains elevated for up to 18 months after a hurricane.

Mosquito-borne diseases such as the zika virus, dengue fever, and chikungunya are transmitted by the Aedes aegypti mosquito.

Several cases of those viruses were confirmed in the British Virgin Islands recently.

Meanwhile, BugOut is among the main local organizations that have been championing the fight against mosquito-borne diseases since forming two years ago.

BugOut, which has partnered with local not-for-profit Green VI, is a community-based initiative to combat Aedes aegypti mosquitoes on Virgin Gorda.

The programmed is endorsed by the BVI government, and has been described as one of the strongest community-based vector control programmes anywhere.

BugOut specializes in education, mosquito breeding source reduction, and monitoring – all of which are critical components to combating this dangerous mosquito.

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