BVI News

USVI releasing mosquitos into their territory will not impact BVI — Chief Env’t Health Officer

Chief Environmental Officer in the Ministry of Health, Lionel Michael.

Chief Environmental Health Officer Lionel Michael has said the ‘Sterile Insect Technique’ to be used on St Croix in the neighbouring US Virgin Islands to control their population of the disease-carrying Aedes Aegypti mosquito will have no effect on the BVI.

Michael gave that indication following concern that the USVI had not consulted with the BVI before deciding to roll out the technique, which involves releasing a breed of non-biting, sterile male mosquitoes carrying the Wolbachia bacterium. This bacterium effectively prevents the Ades Aegypti female mosquitos from successfully hatching eggs.

The concern was raised against the backdrop that the two territory’s ecosystems are interconnected. But Michael made it clear that the initiative would have no impact on the BVI since mosquitoes usually travel within close the proximity of their breeding area.

“Only way how it could have an impact on us is if mosquitoes were to be released and come to the BVI through travel and trade by hitching a ride by aircraft or boat or ferry. But apart from that, I don’t see how it could affect us,” the environmental health boss said.

The technique is safe

Michael further credited the technique, stating that there are several studies proving that the study is safe.

“It seems to have a high degree of safety from all of the reports and risk assessments that have been done on all the discussions … It is a good thing to suppress the disease because you can’t eradicate the mosquitoes, you can only control them through various methods of technology because mosquitoes have been around for centuries,” Michael said.

He further said the BVI will continue to control mosquitoes in the territory through the use of traditional techniques such as source reduction, environmental control, sanitation, physical and mechanical control, biological control (use of fish & biological chemicals), chemical control (spraying, fogging), and culture control whereby residents sensitised about how to limit mosquito breeding.

He, however, said these techniques can only be effective if residents cooperate and are actively involved in the process.

Consultations with BVI

As for consultations with the BVI, Michael told BVI News that the USVI’s proposed technique is not a new subject to officials in the BVI since a number of discussions have been had on the topic throughout the region.

“It’s an on-going discussion in the Caribbean but nobody from the US Virgin Islands have contacted us here. We’ve been discussing new mosquito techniques. The Wolbachia one will use beneficial insects to suppress and control mosquitoes and they have genetically modified mosquitoes that haven’t gotten very far in the Caribbean. But the Wolbachia has been the one which everyone has been discussing in the Caribbean,” Michael stated.

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13 Comments

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  1. Thank you!! says:

    Grateful for the clarification, it is always helpful when the proper officials clear up misinformation that is circulating in the public domain. There appears to be a particular lawyer who seems to consider himself the expert on all things, which clearly isn’t the case. Unfortunately, the media is quick to print his utterances which only fuels the circulation of misinformation.

    Like 11
    Dislike 1
    • Actually says:

      “Only way how it could have an impact on us is if mosquitoes were to be released and come to the BVI through travel and trade by hitching a ride by aircraft or boat or ferry. But apart from that, I don’t see how it could affect us,”

      Lionel Michael’s comment ignores one important fact.
      Mosquitos have clearly managed to move from one island to another without the need for man-made help such as planes and boats. Otherwise they would not exist on all the islands.
      Why can he not see such an obvious empirical problem with his statement?

  2. Insidious Chemical Warfare says:

    There is a war of slow genocide being waged against people of Africa, the diaspora and the Caribbean, and everyone needs to become aware that it is real and happening now.

    Here is a factual example: “Mass sterilization;” Kenyan Doctors find anti-fertility agent in UN Tetanus vaccine.

    One can only but be skeptical about an insect being released into one’s environment,an insect known as a disese transmitter.

    Health officials, there are very sinister minds with huge amounts of money with devilish intentions hard at work aiming to extinguish us from earth.

    Please spare no expense to verify that our medicines and vaccines are safe.

    Not every smiling grining teeth, smiling face and apparent humane world organization genuinely care about or have your well being or longterm survival at heart.

    You have been warned. Please take action today and stay vigilant.

    Like 12
    Dislike 14
  3. CW says:

    STRUPE COMMENT

    This kind of uneducated thinking is why the BVI lags behind other Caribbean Nations and territories. Are you serious? Extinguish you from Earth? What makes the 30k people in BVI so special? there are good things and problems everywhere, but only in BVI do they feel pitiful and like the world out to get them over EVERY little thing. SMH

    Like 8
    Dislike 6
  4. Anonymous says:

    SMDH and CW need to go and find the facts for themselves and stop being so quick to show their lack thereof.

    The evidence is there for whoever wants to find, accept and disseminate it. But the one thing will not be done is fool all the people all the time anymore. Smore are now wide awake.

    So, good try, but we got yah!

    Like 2
    Dislike 1
  5. @SMDH says:

    Your commet is a dramatic example of blogging without knowledge.

    You should contact the Kenyan Health officials or at least go online and verify before spewing none sense.

    And that STRUPES village idiot needs to do the same.

    People are dying and others lives are being permanently altered every single day, even as you are reading this, just because an evil person wants them to suffer or die.

    Wake up sleepers!! This is not misinformation. This is fact. This has been and is happening now!!!

    Sad some chose to critisize before educating their minds with information. How dispicable is and dishonest is that?

    Like 3
    Dislike 1
    • SMDH says:

      Those claims of Mass Sterilization in Kenya have been REFUTED. Ie … proven False. In fact many of the women vaccinated have gone on to have children!!!

      People have also claimed that the Polio vaccine is an agent of mass sterilization. This is Also FALSE. But it has resulted in medical workers being killed by misinformed villagers who feared that their families were unknowingly being sterilized.

      People like you must stop spreading misinformation, stop the fear mongering and stop seeing yourselves as the world’s victims. If you can’t do that you will Never be able to move forward.

  6. Dman says:

    this type of program has proven effective and, so far, safe in Brazil. The old ways of poisoning everything and everyone in sight may be a bit primitive in the 21st century. This, on top of the polluting the ocean, shows a lack of foresight on the part of the Territory. Please wake up before all that’s left is a few curious visitors and a sick population with a short lifespan.

  7. Fogging says:

    Kills indiscriminately and is antiquated. The wolbachia carrying male Aedes Aegypti mates only with the Aedes Aegypti female and doesn’t effect bird, bees or ocean life – it does effect humans but positively! BVI needs to get smart and ahead of the game instead of a decade behind

  8. Fools paradise says:

    Who does this inspector think we are? Really??!!

  9. hmmmmmm says:

    Biological warfare against the black man!!!

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