Eight confirmed Zika cases on Dutch side

PHILIPSBURG–While French St. Martin is facing a total of 61 confirmed Zika cases thus far, there has been a total of eight confirmed cases in Dutch St. Maarten.  

Health Minister Emil Lee provided the figures during the Council of Ministers press briefing on Wednesday. He alluded to Puerto Rico, which has registered 707 cases.

Lee said the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour VSA has just concluded a field trial of a lethal ovitrap system, which was deployed in the Fort Willem area. Lethal ovitraps uses the egg-laying urge of the female mosquito by providing a breeding site that kills the adult mosquito and all of the eggs.

Lee shared the results of the trial during the briefing. He said that when the ovitraps were installed and maintained properly, it was effective. Control traps in the area in some cases showed a complete elimination of the Aedes Aegypti mosquito, which carries the Zika virus.

However, throughout the field trial, it was found that many people did not eliminate other mosquito breeding places around their homes. “There is no point in installing ovitraps if, there are other breeding sites right next to them,” he stressed.

“This is not a war that can be won quickly. Currently, the ministry is hiring a vector control specialist to make a plan for the entire island. This will also involve close cooperation with the French side as well. We are also working together with Curaçao and Aruba on ideas to help solve this issue.

“Government continues the fight, but the only way that we will win the war against mosquitoes, is if the population is well informed and engaged” said Minister Lee during the Council of Ministers Press briefing.

The Minister said it is as known fact that the Zika virus is spreading throughout the region.

Source: Daily Herald
Eight confirmed Zika cases on Dutch side