GREAT BAY, Sint Maarten (DCOMM) – The Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) has developed a game app called “Zap-a-‘quito…put a torpedo on the mosquito.” It is designed to help educate persons, particularly children, on the breeding sites of the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which spreads dengue, chikungunya and zika.
The Collective Preventive Services (CPS), a government department under the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour, has added this mobile game to its Facebook Page where persons can download the app game. CPS encourages parents and individuals to utilize the social media app to further educate and spread the word about eliminating mosquito breeding sites throughout the country.
Due to recent rain events, CPS is appealing to the community to step up measures to eliminate mosquito breeding sites in and around their homes and businesses.
Members of the community as well as visitors are advised to wear light colored clothing at dusk; long sleeve shirts and pants; and use mosquito repellent to prevent being bitten by a mosquito that could possibly be carrying dengue, zika or chikungunya.
Dengue fever, zika and chikungunya are transmitted by the female vector Aedes Aegypti mosquito. The Aedes aegypti mosquito is distinguished by its markings. The body of the mosquito has alternate black and white horizontal stripes. The Aedes Aegypti mosquito lays her eggs in clear (clean) stagnant water. Within eight days the mosquito can complete its life cycle from egg, to larvae to pupae and to adult mosquito.
Persons are also requested to keep their homes, yards, neighborhoods and work environment free from potential mosquito breeding sites.
Actively destroy or dispose of tin cans, old tires, buckets, unused plastic swimming pools or other containers that collect and hold water. Do not allow water to accumulate in the saucers of flowerpots, cemetery urns/vase or in pet dishes for more than two days. Throw out the water and turn them over every time it collects water.
Check around construction sites or do-it-yourself improvements to ensure that proper backfilling and grading is realized to prevent drainage problems which can be a source for standing water. Empty all construction containers such as blue tanks, buckets, paint cans etc.
Mosquitoes can be kept out of the home by keeping windows, doors and porches tightly screened (16-18 mesh). Those insects that do get into structures can be eliminated with a fly swatter or an aerosol space spray containing synergized pyrethrum.
Screen off cistern outlets, cover and screen septic tanks properly.
The aforementioned measures should also be taken in and around the workplace, social gatherings and living quarters to eliminate mosquito breeding sources.
An increase in the mosquito population puts residents and visitors at risk. For information about dengue fever, zika and chikungunya prevention measures, you can call CPS 542-2078 or 542-3003.