Aedes aegypti mosquito
By Stephanie Shaw Smith
KINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS) -- The ministry of health in jamaica has confirmed four additional cases of chikungunya, bringing the total number of confirmed cases for the country to 21. Of this number, 18 are from local transmission, two imported and one considered cryptic due the uncertainty of whether the virus was contracted while traveling overseas or from a household contact.
Director, Emergency, Disaster Management and Special Services, Dr Marion Bullock DuCasse said the positive results were received on Sunday from samples sent to the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA).
The affected parishes remain St Thomas, St Catherine, St Ann and Kingston and St Andrew.
DuCasse said given the recent rainfall that affected the island it is even more imperative that Jamaicans are vigilant in looking for and destroying mosquito breeding sites in their environment.
“Mosquitoes can breed in anything that collects water. The recent rainfall has created even more opportunity for containers to collect water and become mosquito breeding sites. At this time persons should also ensure that they cover containers used to store water since we are still experiencing drought conditions. Uncovered drums and water tanks have been found to be the main breeding sites for mosquitoes,” she explained.
Chikungunya is spread by the bite of an infected Aedes aegypti mosquito, which is generally found in and around places where people inhabit. Residents are urged to search for and destroy mosquito breeding sites by getting rid of old tyres and containers in which water can settle, punching holes in tins before disposing, and covering large drums, barrels and tanks holding water.
DuCasse added that individuals should ensure that they protect themselves from mosquito bites by using insect repellent containing DEET, covering their body as much as possible by wearing long sleeved clothing for example and putting mesh on doors and windows.