Dengue fever continues to be on the rise in the British Virgin Islands, with a total of 59 reported cases since January 2020.
This is according to Chief Environmental Health Officer (CEHO) Lionel Michael who told BVI News the virus — which is transmitted through the Aedes Aegypti mosquito — has mostly impacted Tortola; especially in the eastern area of the island.
“They tend to be sporadic. We have more hot spots for the cases and the mosquito concentration is in East End and Greenland and Long Look and Bellevue. But the cases are not necessarily concentrated in one area,” said Michael, who noted that the local presence of dengue problematic since it is a serious and deadly virus.
“We do have an increase in mosquito infestation too; especially the one that transmits dengue,” he added.
Septic tanks an issue for breeding
Michael also said his department had discovered that septic tanks within the hotspot areas have been posing a threat as a breeding ground for the insects.
“The septic tanks are cracked, they’re broken and they allow the entry and exit of mosquitoes when they reach their developmental stage. They need to repair the septic tanks, septic tanks are a major problem,” he stated.
The CEHO further advised residents on a number of measures of which they can take to help eliminate mosquitoes within their households.
“You need to make sure you cover or destroy all water holder containers outside the house. So you need to cover your containers with wire mesh or used natural covers, change the water in your flower vases or flower pots,” he said.
Meanwhile, Michael said his department has already begun the process to reduce the number of mosquitoes in the hotspot zones through fogging.
He said fogging will be concentrated within the areas that are mostly affected by the virus.
Fogging will continue today in the communities of Long Bush and Lower Estate, then the Sea Cow’s Bay community on Friday.
All fogging is scheduled to occur between 4:30 pm and 7 pm.
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