Vector Control dealing with mosquitoes

This week Belize City residents have been tormented by mosquitoes, reminding us that we are now in the rainy season. With the resurgence of the pesky insects comes the specter of diseases such as dengue fever and malaria, which are spread by the Aedes aegypti and female Anopheles mosquitoes respectively. While the latter is not a concern in the Belize District as only two cases have been reported, both transfers in, Central Health Regional Manager Melinda Guerra told us this afternoon that the Region is about to push hard to tackle the former.

Melinda Guerra – Central Health Regional Manager:
vlcsnap-2013-06-11-12h24m00s55Our biggest concern is that throughout the years, we have Dengue; so we have persons now who have had the condition before. So the concern for us would be that if a person who had this disease, get it again, then that could lead Hemorrhagic Dengue. So that is the biggest concern, especially with children or the elderly, because this can really have a devastating effect on their health. 

The man at the head of the fight is Stephen Rivers, Supervisor of Vector Control for the Region. He told us about the special treatment of the City’s open drains which began today.

Stephen Rivers – Supervisor of Vector Control:
vlcsnap-2013-06-11-12h37m35s24We have prepared. we have started spraying.  We have been spraying in the city. We’re treating drains and yards.  We hired some spray-men to help us with the spraying of yards and drains.

Mr Rivers also gives advice to City residents on how to control mosquitoes and why it is not a good idea to close up your houses when the spray truck passes by, despite the awful smell of the spray.

Stephen Rivers – Supervisor of Vector Control:
We have plans that they could close up their houses early.  If they see any larvae in gardens or yards, they could use cooking oil or kerosene oil to treat the water, to kill the larvae.

The spraying and treatment continue periodically throughout the rainy season. Those who have had dengue are at special risk for the hemorrhagic form of the disease, which can be fatal.

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