Floods threaten to spread dengue
Minister of Health Donville Inniss has urged Barbadians to take extra care to keep dengue cases down.
Inniss told the DAILY NATION the four consecutive days of heavy rainfall just recorded could help create ideal breeding conditions for the deadly Aedes aegypti mosquito, which transmits dengue fever to humans.
“Water will settle in some areas and these can become breeding grounds for mosquitoes, and that is something we wish to avoid,” he said.
“The Ministry of Health will continue with its educational programme and encourage Barbadians to take a few minutes and look around their properties and their neighbours’ properties and ensure that we are all playing our part in the fight against dengue fever.”
Barbados has recorded at least 199 confirmed cases of dengue fever and three dengue-related deaths so far this year.
The Ministry of Health has been urging Barbadians to seek medical attention at once if they experience symptoms of the disease, including sudden high fever, severe headaches, pain behind the eyes, muscle and joint pain, or symptoms of dengue haemorrhagic fever, such as bleeding from the nose, mouth and gums, frequent vomiting, severe abdominal pain or difficulty breathing.
Inniss said Barbadians needed to take better care of their surroundings.
He complained that some people had contributed to the flooding, since their lawn grass and leaves cut during landscaping exercises ended up blocking the mouths of several wells.
“I hope, certainly from a public health perspective, that people are able to go out there and take a closer look at their surroundings to see what they can do to prevent negative effects,” he said.
“. . . We see that heavy rain like this is the added challenge of risk to life as well as damage to property that can arise when people don’t keep their surroundings tidy.”
Householders are advised to drain stagnant pools or at least pour some petrol into them to stop mosquitoes from being attracted to them or to destroy eggs.
Dealing with adult mosquitoes is another matter. The Ministry of Health’s Vector Control Unit frequently conducts fogging exercises to destroy them.
Householders are asked to assist in the elimination of the Aedes aegypti mosquito by opening their windows and doors to allow the fog to penetrate. (TY)