Chief Environmental Health Officer Ferdinia Carbon has expressed the Environmental Health Unit’s concern as it relates to the increases in mosquito breeding due to increased rainfall in Dominica.
“When we have an increase in rainfall, we also get an increase in mosquito breeding and a number of times we have had outbreaks of mosquito-borne diseases during the rainy season,” Carbon said on a recent radio program.
The 2017 Atlantic hurricane season is currently underway and the Chief Environmental Health Officer stated that the Unit has already recorded outbreaks of mosquito-borne diseases during the rainy season.
“That is usually our peak time for diseases that are endemic like dengue, we have seen a few cases a couple of weeks ago, so we are on the lookout for an increase in mosquito-borne diseases,” she said.
Carbon stated that the breeding of mosquitoes in water drums is an even greater danger during the Hurricane season.
“We know we now have an increase in storage of water, we have some communities that do not always have water in the taps and we have seen persons increasing the amount of storage especially in the 45-gallon drums, and the drum is the most prolific breeder. We are concerned that we will get an increase in mosquitoes which might lead to an increase in mosquito-borne diseases,” Carbon stated.
Individuals are being encouraged to reduce the mosquito breeding on their properties as they could be taken before the courts if they fail to do so.
“If I go to your home, especially if you are a continuous breeder and I decide to take you to the courts, the courts can charge you a maximum of a thousand dollars…Now this thousand dollars can also go hand in hand with three-month imprisonment and for every additional day that this breeding continues you will also be charged a hundred dollars,” Carbon said.
The Chief Officer mentioned that this is a very serious matter because people who have experienced diseases like chikungunya, or the persons who might have had a baby with microcephaly (related to Zika) know how serious those diseases are. Both diseases are spread by mosquitos.
“We have given out so much information about those diseases, we have talked so much about the Aedes Aegypti mosquito and I mean the burden of infectious diseases in Dominica is mosquito-borne diseases,” she stated.
She noted that the responsibility of citizens in controlling the breeding of mosquitos is great.
“We have to be cognizant that we have a responsibility and that responsibility is so great that we actually have a piece of legislation that of you contravene that responsibility, you can be charged,” she stated.